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NorthStar Performance Partners, LLC | Minneapolis, MN

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As a sales professional you always want to deal with the decision maker. You know it is important to identify who is the ultimate decision maker.

When you are trying to determine if the person you are talking to is the decision maker, never ask him or her directly if they are the decision maker. It often sounds something like….”Are you the person that will be making the final decision?”

Here is the problem:

This puts pressure on the person's ego and forces them to lie to you. Often the prospect will feel like they have to say they are, even when there are others involved. You may never find out there are other people that have influence in the decision process.

When the truth finally comes out the prospect may feel embarrassed or even hide from you to protect their dignity.

You end up feeling frustrated and confused about what happened. You end up wasting a lot of valuable time only to find that there are additional players. Now you have to start all over, assuming you have the chance.

It’s your job as a sales professional to craft questions that reveal who else is involved in the decision process, what the key issues are for that person, and how your contact will represent you with the other decision makers.

You need to develop a close relationship with the front line person to ensure they tell you what issues will determine who gets the business and you must also help them be the expert in the marketplace. This will ultimately help him answer the questions his superiors will be asking about the information he’s gathered and if your contact presents himself and the information credibly, he may recommend your product and service over the competitive players.

Here is the rule….

Always allow the prospect the opportunity to maintain their dignity and feel good about working with you.

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