What is a decision-maker?
First, let’s define the term ‘decision-maker. Decision-makers are those people who can make or influence a decision.
They can include:
- A manager or team leader;
- The affected group of users;
- A senior manager;
- Someone who knows the client well (such as a family member).
But, remember that not any one person will be able to make a decision. Decision-makers should know about the problem, have a clear idea of the solution, and make a logical decision based on all the facts.
What are the different types of decision-makers?
There are generally three different types of decision-makers:
- The owner(s): The owner(s) will be making most or all of the fundamental and ground-breaking decisions. This means that they have individual responsibility for the success or failure of their company. Which can be quite a heavy responsibility to carry.
- Executive leader(s): The executive leader of an organization is often referred to as the CEO, president, or managing director and is usually someone who has risen through the ranks or been appointed due to their expertise in a particular area. They will make decisions concerning managers within the company but may rely on others for help in making other decisions.
- Board of directors: A board of directors is a group of individuals appointed to oversee the activities of a company and provide direction and guidance for its members. Depending on the scale and structure of the organization. There may be one or more boards involved in the decision-making process at any one time.
Why should you care who the decision-maker is?
Understanding who the decision-maker is and what role they play in the organization can help you identify potential pitfalls and motivate them to participate.
For example, if a client has made it clear that the decision will be all theirs. They will be responsible for any mistakes. On the other hand, if a team leader identifies as the decision-maker. You can discuss anything they might need to help them sell your solution within their organization.
How can you find out who the decision-maker is?
There are multiple ways to find out who the decision-maker is in a particular situation. The most obvious ways are to ask people at the client organization. Or if it makes clear that their board of directors has the final say. You can look at their website and identify each member of staff within the company.
Sometimes, however, these methods will not be the most effective. It may be necessary to develop a relationship with staff members to get the information you need. Once achieved, it can become easier to identify who is likely to have the final say on any decisions.
How do you get in contact with the decision-maker?
It’s necessary to establish a relationship first. The best way to do this is by having a chat with someone within the organization first. You can do this either face-to-face or over email; however, email may be better as it allows you more time to think about what you’re going to say.
Once achieving this first stage, you can select a person likely to be the decision-maker. And ask them if they would like to speak to you about your offer. When you’ve developed a relationship with someone within that company, then there’s a good chance that they’ll take the time to speak to you.When you've developed a relationship with someone within that company, then there's a good chance that they'll take the time to speak to you. #decisionmaker Click To Tweet
What should your message be when meeting with a decision-maker for the first time?
When you first meet with the decision-maker, they’ll likely be sizing you up. Therefore, you should always try to give them value for money. This doesn’t necessarily mean giving away all of your ideas or secrets, but rather showing how your offer can benefit their company’s needs. And help them achieve their objectives.
To do this, it is a good idea to know who your client is and what you can offer them. Even if they haven’t told you about their business plan or objectives. It may be possible to identify them from other sources.
For example, if the decision-maker has decided to implement a new policy regarding timekeeping within their company. It would be smart to say that your new piece of software will help them decrease their overhead costs.
What are the benefits of having a relationship with a decision-maker?
Relationships with the decision-maker are valuable because it allows you to have a quick chat whenever you need. It also ensures that they’ll take time out of their day for you if necessary. Below are just some of the benefits of this:
- Ask them questions about their business, which means they will always be up to date with your developments without it appearing suspicious.
- You will know if they are thinking about retiring or leaving the company, so this gives you time to think of alternatives.
- They can introduce new opportunities to you and even give feedback on ideas before development.
- They also can introduce you to other staff members within the company who may be more difficult for you to get in contact with.
What are some mistakes that people make when meeting with decision-makers?
There are many mistakes that people make when meeting with decision-makers; however, there are two common ones that I will mention below:
● Not knowing enough about the company. The people within the organization are likely to know more about their business than you do. So you must learn as much as you can before meeting with them. Without this knowledge, they’ll be unable to take an interest in what you have to offer. Resulting in the most likely rejecting your offer due to lack of interest.
● Not knowing their concerns and objectives. If you don’t know what the problems and goals of the decision-makers are, it will be difficult for you to give them value for money. They may feel that your offer doesn’t benefit them by not doing this so that they will reject it.
Although knowing their issues and objectives is not necessarily a guarantee that they will accept your offer, it does increase your chances of them doing so.
How often should I follow up with the decision-maker after we meet?
Following up with the decision-makers is also an essential factor in ensuring that your offer gets accepted. Right after you’ve met with them, you should send them a ‘thank-you’ email that reminds them of who you are and why they met with you. If possible, include some of the main points of the meeting so that they won’t forget who you are or what you do.Right after you've met with them, you should send them a 'thank-you' email that reminds them of who you are and why they met with you. #decisionmaker Click To Tweet
After this initial email, you must send them an email monthly to ensure they don’t forget who you are and what you offer. However, avoid sending too many emails as this may annoy the decision-maker and make them less likely to buy from you in the future.
Relationships with the decision-maker are an integral part of selling as it means that they will always be interested in your product or service. However, it is essential to remember not to annoy them as this could result in you losing valuable contact. It is also wise to do some research about their company and objectives before meeting with them to offer them something that will be of value.
In addition, it is essential to follow up with the decision-maker after meetings and ensure that they don’t forget who you are and what you do. This ensures that your chances of selling increase but remember not to become a nuisance either.
- The decision-makers within the organization are likely to know more about their business than you do, so you must learn as much as you can before meeting with them.
- It is important to remember not to annoy the decision-makers. Doing this could result in losing valuable contact.
- It is also wise to do some research about their company and objectives before meeting with them to offer them something that will be of value.
- Ensure they don’t forget who you are and what you do by sending an email monthly to remind the decision-maker of your proposition. However, avoid becoming a nuisance, and it is important not to send too many emails.