In almost every buying decision, you`ll work with a cast of characters who are involved in the process. Often, one member of the cast usually someone at or near the top of the organisation chart has the responsibility for making the decision. Sometimes, however, a committee of decision makers is involved.
Of course, if you sell to individuals, the organisation chart may contain only a few entries; your prospect and maybe his or her spouse, and maybe an accountant, advisor or friend.
The “who” element is composed of three aspects:
Title of the people involved
Responsibilities of those people
Their stake in the decision
You might say that the cast of characters is composed of stars, co-stars, supporting actors, and bit players.
The stars include the Managing Director, owner, senior partner, or other lead decision maker (husband or wife). The focus of a star is:
The people to whom the star delegates are the co-stars. The co-stars are usually the top management of the company, like the Directors, VPs, chief Operating Officers, etc. The focus of co-stars is:
Carrying out policies
Using a decision making authority that is handed down from the star
Providing significant influence over decision
Schedule a budget
The Supporting Actors
Supporting actors include managers and supervisors. They tend to be facts, figures, features and functions people. Supporting actors:
Have little purchasing authority
Have limited influence in the decision process
Gather and analyse data to support the decision
The Bit Players
Bit players are the people in the organisation who will use the product or service. They may include administrative staff, salespeople, warehouse & shipping staff, and equipment maintenance staff. Bit players:
Want to know how a product/service will help them
Have little or no authority or influence in the decision process
Are a wealth of information about products/services/vendors
You should always start the sales call at the top of the organisation. If the star has delegated responsibility to someone else, he or she can refer to that person
Paul Lanigan is Managing Director of the Sandler Sales Institute in Ireland. Paul has over a decade of international sales experience with both large multi-nationals and small start-up organisations. Managing the President`s Club professional development program.
Tel: 01 469 3376