7 Ways To STOP Chasing Decision Makers!

You probably know this scenario well: Your main contact at a company has expressed interest in possibly purchasing your product or service.

You’ve had the pleasant conversations, you’ve heard “Yes, we’re definitely interested” and “Yes, I’m the decision maker,” and you’re excited about making the sale happen.

You’ve put your heart and soul into doing what you’re best at — explaining the benefits of your solution but working hard not to come across “salesy” or pushy.

As far as you’re concerned, you’ve done everything right.

Now you’re on the phone with your contact. You’re hoping this will be your last conversation before they fax the contract through.

Finally you ask, “So, is the agreement ready to be signed?” There’s a silence, and then you hear the disheartening words: “Oh, I realize that I should really have Mike and Julie, look at it before I send it over.”

Talk about being set up to believe everything was going to be smooth sailing — now a big wave has overturned the boat and it’s sinking fast! Why didn’t he tell you he wasn’t the final decision maker? Why did he lead you on?

Most important, what can you do to stop this from happening again?

Don’t despair! Here Ari Galper shares seven ways to end the chasing game with decision makers.

Dressing for the Interview, by Industry

By Peter Vogt, Monster Senior Contributing Writer (Monster.com)

There’s no getting around it: In every job interview, you’re going to be judged — at least partially — by how you look.

But how you should look varies depending on your industry and the job you’re interviewing for. Take a look at general interview attire expectations for eight career areas.

The Top 7 Things to Consider Doing in the Summer with Your Sales Team!

If you are like most sales leaders, you are trying to figure out how to keep the sales team energized and excited when it’s 87 degrees and sunny outside. 

By the way, if you are selling snow cones on the beach or fried clams by the sea shore, this list may not apply.

Here’s a list of Rick Faulk’s top 7 ideas.

Intent: The #1 Factor To Increase Sales Results

How does a sales manager teach intent? It’s by far the most difficult sales knowledge for a sales manager to impart to their team.

What makes teaching intent so difficult? It’s not a verbal skill and can’t be practiced; it’s inside the salesperson and begins with good character and good will.

A salesperson who enters a sales call with a sincere desire to understand the prospect’s business and challenges will close more sales than the articulate, polished, lower-priced competitor.

Human beings are wired to sense dishonesty and lack of authenticity. Likewise, they can spot a person who is genuine and desires to do the right thing. Who would you rather do business with?

So how do you teach your sales team to approach every sales opportunity with the right intent? Here Colleen Stanley shares three questions to ask that will help.

Confronting Rejection

In the sales profession, the “fear of rejection” tops the list of reasons why people avoid sales as a career choice. After 25 years of selling, sales expert Cathy Jackson still gets disappointed when business opportunities don’t materialize in her favor. After all, selling means accumulating a lot of “No’s” before getting a “Yes.” Little by little, chipping away at your self-esteem and self-confidence creating a self-doubt spiral about your career choice, your goals, and your self.

Don’t get caught up in the notion that your sales career is burdened with the “fear of rejection.” Labels like rejection, stress, anxiety, esteem are word games and does nothing to enlighten, instruct, or give you directions on what to do about it. When somebody tells you to face and overcome your fears of failure or rejection to increase your sales, then Dudley and Goodson recommend putting it through the MAD (“Make a Difference”) test. Does it make any difference to use this word or label to describe what is happening? Does it point you in a helpful direction? Does it provide a solution? Does it provide meaningful guidance? Providing the answers to these questions will identify the emotional reaction (physical contents) and allow you to apply appropriate procedures to change your behavior.

Move or Miss Out

By Sharon L. Florentine (The Ladders.com)
Name: Kathleen Steffey
Title: President
Company: Naviga Business Services, Tampa, Florida
Years as a Recruiter: 15

“It used to be an employers’ choice out there,” said recruiter Kathleen Steffey. “Clients had the upper hand and could take their time making sure they found perfect candidates, whether that meant keeping candidates ‘on hold’ for weeks or asking them to return for more and more interviews.”

That’s no longer the case. Candidates are finding they don’t have to tolerate employers’ “bad behavior” and often have a few opportunities from which to choose, said Steffey, president of Naviga Business Services, a Tampa, Fla., executive-search firm that specializes in recruiting nationally for sales and marketing professionals. Some employers find it a hard pill to swallow.

It leaves executive recruiters in the unenviable position of pressuring clients to take their advice, which could alienate them from customers, or risk losing the candidate and the commission altogether.

“If a client’s not pulling the trigger on delivering an offer, or they’re keeping a candidate on hold for too long, that person is now able to jet out of there and find something else — they’re not as starved for opportunities as they once were,” she said. “And that’s a trend we find ourselves coaching our clients on.”

Doing so, of course, requires finesse and the ability to walk the fine line between being consultative and being pushy. Steffey instructs Naviga’s recruiters to err on the side of “consultative” and simply present clients with as much information as possible, allowing them to draw their own conclusions.

“First, I really stress that my recruiters find out from the candidate the exact level of interest in that particular company and position; to ask thorough questions to gauge what they’ll do if they get another offer,” she said. This vetting process helps Naviga recruiters find out if candidates would be willing to give a company a few extra days if it could mean getting an offer, “and that helps us — and helps our clients — to understand where their interest lies and where best to expend energy.”

“If we’re in the process of presenting candidates, the client may express particular interest in one person,” she said. “Over the past year or so, they’ve been able to say, ‘We need to interview a number of other people as well,’ and that’s not necessarily the best approach today.

“We make sure they know if the candidate has a number of other interviews scheduled and that they could very well accept an offer from another company.”

By presenting as much information as possible not just about the candidate but about that person’s prospects and other competing offers, Steffey said clients quickly understand that the market has changed and that “if they don’t make their move, they might end up missing out on a great hire.”

The Lost Art of the Thank You Note: Give Honest, Sincere Appreciation

Writing a sincere thank you note is one of the professional skills that can make a lasting favorable impression. People like being appreciated. One of Dale Carnegie’s fundamental human relation principles is “Give honest, sincere appreciation.” When writing a thank you note, use a plain, small card. However, the card is not as important as the effort, so if paper is all that is available, write the note anyway! Use this 6-step formula as a sure-fire method of expressing appreciation in a written note.