Top Salespeople Sell to Top Decision Makers

by Jacques Werth

To make more sales, meet with the highest level person who makes decisions about purchasing what you are selling.  It’s not a good strategy to talk to anyone at a lower level first, unless it is the top decision maker’s assistant (also known as a gatekeeper).  Here is an example:

Sean, a young salesperson with a very large software company visited with the IT manager of one the largest car manufacturers.  Sean was told that they were “absolutely not interested” in his type of software.  Sean mentioned the conversation to his sales manager, who reminded him that he was trained to contact C-level Execs, not managers.

Sean began to phone several of the senior VPs of the car company.  Eventually, he spoke to the assistant to the Chief Information Officer (CIO), and he explained what he was selling.  A minute later the CIO got on the line and said, “I understand that you have software that can automatically identify corrupted and missing information in our database files.  Is that correct?”

Sean said, “Yes that’s correct.  Is that what you want?”

She said, “Yes.  How soon can we get together?”

Sean met with the CIO the next day and he went through the entire High Probability Selling process with her.  He came back two days later with the product manager for that software.  After a thorough discussion about what the software could and could not do, the product manager estimated the price to be between 3 and 4 million dollars.  The CIO asked for a written quotation.

Within a week the CIO authorized a $3.5mm purchase of the software, and handed Sean a written purchase order.


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