Angela is closing a major sale. Or so she thinks.
“So,” she concludes. “Do you have any more questions about our proposal?”
“Nope,” says Byron, her buyer.
“Anything you don’t understand?
“Nope. I get it.”
“The price is okay?”
“The price looks fine.”
“Well, then,” Angela says, “is there anything that would make you hesitate to go forward?”
“Not a thing,” Byron replies calmly.
“Great!” Angela says. “When can we get started?”
That’s when the sale screeches to a halt.
Just one more thing…
“First I need to review your proposal with the management team. I’ll let you know what we decide,” Byron says.
Angela just got locked out of the most important discussion of all – the one where the buying decision will be made! Anything could happen and she won’t be there to keep the sale on track.
“Byron, I really think I should be part of that meeting,” she insists. “In case something comes up or, you know, if people have questions…”
Byron shakes his head. “I’m sorry, Angela. That wouldn’t be appropriate.”
How often does it happen to you that the buying decision is made while you’re not around? It hardly seems fair. After all, the buying committee could get their facts wrong. Or someone with an agenda could torpedo you and you can’t defend yourself.
It may not be fair, but the buyer sets the rules. So what can you do about it?
First, of course, you need to be sure you have a true advocate in the room. If you’re not 100% sure your contact will stand up for you, you’ve got more work to do.
Second, you have to try to talk yourself out of the sale. You must be the devil’s advocate against your advocate. Rehearse the meeting. Throw everything you’ve got at your advocate to persuade him or her not to buy from you. Keep at it until you’re both sure that you have an airtight case – and that your advocate knows how to make it on your behalf.
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