Lets imagine your family is looking to buy a new car. To this end you enter a car showroom with our spouse and your children. In this situation, no car salesperson would try to sell a new expensive family car to your 18 year old daughter – even though your daughter probably will use the new car at some point. No, the salesperson would talk to the parents of the family and try to find out who actually makes the decision to buy and has control of the money.
Likewise, you wouldn’t try to sell your company’s products to someone who is merely a user of the product with no buying influence – or would you? Unfortunately hoards of salespeople around the world make this mistake over and over.
These salespeople become free educators, making sure that engineers, software developers and other knowledge workers employed by the client company stay updated on the latest technologies. But this is most likely no way to make a sale, as these people more often than not have no buying power within their organisation. Or, like one of the CustomerCentric Selling core concept has is: You can’t sell to someone who can’t buy.
This problem gets even worse when you are trying to sell a some new concept or technology, which – because it’s in fact something quite new – hasn’t been budgeted for. In this case your only hope are the few people in an organisation that actually can spend unbudgeted funds.
Sometimes it’s only a handful of people even in a large company employing tens of thousands of people who can spend unbudgeted funds. But even if your products are such that there is a budget available for them, you still have to deal with the person who can spend that budget. Otherwise you’re just giving free consultation and training.