The people to target for business to business sales over $50,000 should be the leader of the profit and loss center where the product or service is being sold and his direct reports. If your product or service (1) requires a capital authorization or (2) impacts an operation's costs or functions or (3) changes one of the company’s products, it will be approved by the Profit/Loss (P/L) leader and his staff. If the investment is large enough, it may go even higher. Many of these managers are not solid-line responsible for the departments, projects, divisions, etc. that your services directly touch, but they get involved. These managers help the P/L leader make decisions that are good for them and the company. So it is good that they know you. Don't underestimate their importance to your sale.
The lower level people that are significantly impacted (either personally or through their subordinates) by your offering are your first step. Get to their manager, but don’t stop there. This intermediate manager will be the one to take you to the top where the final yes’s and no’s happen. Remember, it is not only the top power executive. He will discuss this investment during lunches and in staff meetings. The more managers you interview, the better you’ll be known and positively positioned for when the decision is discussed.
Check Yourself Score: 4=Always; 3=Most Times; 2=Usually; 1=Sometimes; 0=Never.
1. When selling a product or service do you feel the decision process is a strait line up? I.e. Purchasing to engineering, to operations, VP, CFO, CEO?
2. How often do you meet with auxiliary C-Level or Senior Executives such as, the VP Human Resources or the VP Sales?
Scoring: 2 – 1 = ??
___ – ___ = ___