In your sales career, there are going to be times when you have to pitch or present to more than one person. This can either be a fully planned and totally expected scenario or it could be that you arrive at your client’s offices and are caught by surprise, as you discover the person you have arranged to see introduces you to three other people who will now be in the meeting.
This happened to a new member of our sales team recently and they started to recount the story of how they dealt with it. Consequently, we all started to throw in suggestions as to how you can handle selling to multiple decision makers because there’s no doubt it is very different from the one-on-one situation you thought you would be dealing with. Here are just a few things that were mentioned in that conversation about selling to multiple decision makers.
Assuming that the meeting is planned for you to meet with several people in the organisation, and it’s not a surprise, then if it is at all possible try to ensure that the meeting time and date are totally convenient for everyone, ensuring that attendees are able to give it their full attention. There’s nothing worse than a really important decision maker having to attend a meeting on the day they would normally submit their monthly figures. This would simply add to their personal pressure situation and may cloud their judgement somewhat as to what you have to offer.
Once you have the meeting agreed, one of the first challenges you will face is that all-important task of building rapport with everyone in the room. Everyone is different of course and we all communicate in different ways. At Maguire Training we deliver a number of communication-based courses that can help you people understand the variety of ways in which people communicate and how you can recognise this, which will help you to tap into their preferred style. Have a look at ‘Effective Communication Skills’ course as the content will address this and other useful areas around building rapport quickly.
Also being able to meet and greet individuals as they arrive is a great way to break the ice and start the rapport building process. Sometimes this will not be possible and so a more formal introduction is required. This has to be suitable for the kind of sales meeting everyone is expecting i.e. not too formal or stuffy but then again, not too familiar so as to trivialise the subject up for discussion either. Hopefully, you would know this before you arrive but you may also be called upon to judge this in the moment.
It is very useful for you to know exactly who will be making the final decision on whether they buy your product or services or not. Sometimes this will be one individual in the group or it could be that everyone has a say. It may also be a balanced scorecard of course. Even if the decision does fall to one individual then you can be sure that the others in the room will certainly heavily influence that decision one way or another, so it is vital that your sales pitch engages everyone.
It really helps the process of engaging everyone in the room you are able to allow everyone the chance to speak. Some may not be very forthcoming of course and it is your job to tease them out. Others may try and dominate so it’s important that you manage them skillfully as well. Whilst doing this you can encourage a healthy conversation all round but beware of being lured off track. It’s great to keep the meeting conversational and others areas can be introduced and discussed but keep an eye on the prize and main focus of the pitch too.
Try not to favour one individual over another. You may inadvertently ignore the one person who may ultimately be able to sway the decision in your favour. If someone does pose a question it is vital that you deal with it to their complete satisfaction.
Make notes of the questions that people ask too. This will allow you to follow up on the answers you gave after the meeting. This is a great way of ‘asking back’, in other words, checking that the answers you gave were satisfactory. This often encourages decision makers to engage further but more importantly, they will get a flavour for how you do business i.e. never leave your client wondering or unsure about an answer you gave to their question. So this is just good follow up.
Not only do we do classroom-based training at Maguire Training we also have a number of online sales and commercial modules for you to choose from. The online module called ‘Selling to Multiple decision Makers’ can stand alone in terms of providing some great tuition in the subject or can be the perfect complement to any on the sales and communication skills course we deliver in-house.
If you need further information then you could always call us of course on 0333 5777 144 for a no obligation discussion about your training requirements. Alternatively, simply hit the ‘Contact Us’ on any page of our website at www.maguiretraining.co.uk and we’ll get right back to you.
Either way, it would be great to hear from you.