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The Power of the 'Influencer'

I normally don't focus on specific sales training topics, but after several sessions of training sales managers on how to create effective sales strategies -- and even experiencing several sales situations within my own business -- I thought I might raise this topic via three points:

  1. When I was selling business-focused software to the midsized market, we were trained to spend time with the people in the office during the early stages of the sales process and build a solid relationship with them.

  2. During the demonstration phase the president of those companies always brought the key people that would be using the software. During the proposal phase, those individuals were normally there when we introduced the investment and training programs.

  3. It seemed like 90 percent of the time, the president always looked at those individuals or "influencers" -- who had no ownership in the company and may not have had a management title -- and said, "What do you think?"

The power of the influencer is amazing. If those influencers had confidence in my solution and recognized that the benefits of my proposal would improve their job and the company, their vote was always, "I think it makes sense!"

While in many sales situations we find that the salesperson is not calling high enough in the decision-making process, don't forget to nurture those key individuals that can bring power to your recommendation. It maybe informal power, but it is still power. In developing your sales strategy make sure you seek out those individuals that your product/service will impact within the organization and include them in key steps of your sales process.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on August 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM


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