Selling Business to Business – Ignore The Internal Politics at Your Peril?
If you are self-employed, I bet you don’t miss the internal politics associated with working in the corporate world. Well, contrary to popular belief, those internal politics still affect us and how we conduct our business. Ignore them at your peril!
The key to overcoming corporate workplace politics is to understand them and know the role they play in your dealings with corporate clients. Your conventional sales model is actually reducing your sales success rate with the big corporations. In addition to that, the workplace politics are making things worse! how to sell your business
In traditional sales, you present to a key decision maker and close the sale with that person. If you’re selling to corporations, most likely, the final decision is made by a management team. You end up giving control to your contact in the company; you are dependent on that person selling your services internally to their organization. Who do you think is the best person to sell your services better, you or your contact?
Some people believe that an excellent working relationship with a contact is enough to win the sale. But having someone in your corner doesn’t mean you’re going to close the deal.
Have you ever had an excellent sales meeting, one where you are sure that the client is ready to close? At the end of the meeting, you’re confident that it is a ‘done deal’. Then, when you follow up with your client, you find that they start putting the brakes on. You are not alone.
What can you do to overcome this?
Here’s what you need to understand: the delay is because of the behind-the-scenes decision-making process. You can pre-empt any concerns that other people in the organization may have to your service from the very first meeting, or even sooner.
You might ask why would someone object to your services when they could bring so many obvious benefits to the company? You’re selling change, and people in larger companies are resistant to change. Here are two ways you can address the situation:
1. Be mindful of the language you use. Words like transform and increased sales signal that dramatic change is imminent. Change frightens many corporate types. Tone down your language. Solutions that are in line with existing processes will appeal to senior and middle managers.
2. Build Relationships. The key is to start to build relationships, even if it means just observing people at work, having informal meetings or interviewing employees. The more people you meet, the more opportunity you have to win people over. Strike while the iron is hot. If you wait until your proposal is submitted, it could be too late.