While selling into large organisations, have you ever wondered if the person you are dealing with is wasting your time?
You keep calling them and they are willing to speak and meet with you.
So it must be going somewhere right?
And here is my typical MBA-learnt response: It depends!
A prospect can be wasting your time for any number of reasons:
- They believe in your offering but don’t have authority or power within the organisation to purchase.
- They are interested in something you have to offer, such as industry intelligence, free things from your company (product samples, lunches, coffee etc) or your fantastic looks? (just kidding on the last one)
- Your lack of leadership with the client is creating no value for either party.
- Do they understand the value of my offering to their organisation?
- Are they able to articulate this “value” to their colleagues and get their buy-in?
- Even if they are not managerial, do they have “authority” within the organisation?
- How does the organisation make decisions? Is it top down (if that’s the case, if you are not dealing with the CEO you are wasting your time). Or are the decisions made in a consultative way? (The CEO asks his/her management team to investigate and report/recommend next steps).
- Disconnect with the contact and organisation completely. This has minimal impact. Does not offend anyone. The downside is that you are abandoning a good potential client.
- Ask your contact to introduce you to someone else within the organisation. This is a politically tricky move. You risk offending your contact because it openly indicates they are not providing what you need.
- Completely go above your contact! Be bold and go to the most senior person you can find.