• August 16, 2016

Salespeople, Here’s 3 Easy Ways to Build Consensus Within Your Prospect’s Business

In the earlier days of my sales career, I was making my pitch to a VP at a big company. It was going to be a huge deal for me and I was feeling really confident. How could the deal not happen – this guy loved me! Well, the problem was, he wasn’t the only one making the decision. I had forgotten an important sales rule – sell the deal to everyone involved or you’ll have no deal at all.

Take a look at the companies you are dealing with. I’m sure for each company you sell to, you have multiple contacts at each. When you are approaching a deal, you have to remember that different players have different agendas, and all their agendas have to matter to you.

Let’s say you are selling an amazing sales automation CRM, like Spiro. If you are talking it up to sales reps, they want to hear that it will make their life easier, eliminate data entry, remind them who to call, generate reports, and help them make tons of money. But if you’re pitching your solution to the sales operations team, they want to ensure they can extract the best data out of your product.

And then those two sales managers you have contact with… what do they care about? They want it to be a seamless system that allows their reps to follow the process easily, helping their team to get their deals closed faster. By the way, Spiro does all of this and more!

The problem is that the buyers don’t always agree with each other, let alone you!

You have to build consensus. In my experience there are three main strategies you can use to achieve this:

Align Yourself With the Organization

Knowing your customer’s goals and anticipating their needs is the most crucial element in closing big deals. But, how do you do that? Simply put, you need to work to align yourself with what the company you’re selling to is trying to achieve… and more importantly you need to show the various buying influencers how you can help them fit into this goal. (See our blog, How to Sell Big F*&$ Deals for more info on how to do this.)

Although this may seem like the obvious solution to build consensus, it is the most work.

Proactively find ways that can help their whole company grow, cut costs, and better their reputation. Then show your individual buyers and influencers how your product can help them achieve the entire company’s goals.

Align Yourself With the Leader

You don’t have to have a sociology major to know that in most groups, a leader emerges, and the rest follow. Another option to building consensus is to identify the leader and work your ass off to align yourself just with them.

Why should you have to get all the players on board when you can just convince that one strong person that you’re great, and then let them do all the leg work? This solution is definitely a bigger risk, bigger reward, but go big or go home!

Go Rogue

Once I had been working a big deal between two departments, and it was stuck in negotiations forever. The problem was, it had started out as a small deal, and then grew into this huge elephant that had multiple decision makers.

What I should have done is put into play strategy number three – going rogue.

If I had stepped back and gained some perspective, I may have seen that the smaller, original deal was pretty much a sure shot. The best solution would have been to break off a piece of the bigger deal that we were now proposing and just sell that.

Ideally, they would buy our original offer, try our company out, love us, and eventually come back to buy the whole enchilada.

What strategies do you use to build consensus in your client? Let us know in the comments.