Your buyer has to sell your proposal internally – and you can’t be there

by on October 3, 2011 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Top Sales Dog

If you’ve ever taught your kids how to drive, you know that awful sinking feeling as they pull away from the curb on their own for the first time. “Remember to signal!” you shout, jogging behind the car. “Watch out for the stop sign! Here, let me just hop in for a minute….”

You might have experienced a similar feeling if you ever presented a proposal to a buyer who must then sell it internally. “Don’t forget to mention the user-friendly features! Keep your eye on the ROI! How about if I come to the meeting – you know, just in case any questions come up….”

Key buying decisions are often made behind closed doors – and the salesperson is NOT on the invitation list. So you have to rely on your buyer to sell your ideas.

Chances are, your buyer could use some coaching to safely steer your proposal past all the hazards. You have to help them do all the things that come naturally to you as an experienced salesperson: anticipate objections, identify hidden agendas, win over the critics. And you have to do it without insulting your buyer’s intelligence or questioning their abilities. That’s about as tough as teaching a teenager to drive. But it can be done — and in much the same way.

Sit down with your buyer and discuss the “what ifs”: If a ball bounces out into the street ahead of your car, what do you do? If the other guy runs a stop sign, what will you do? If an ambulance is coming, what do you do?

If the boss says there’s no budget, what will you say? If the head of engineering says it won’t work, how will you respond? If your current vendor says they can do the same for less, what will you do?

photo credit: akarmy

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