How Can You Be More Effective
with Decision Makers?

How Can You Be More Effective with Decision Makers?

by: Rob Reed

Sales meetings with decision makers — they’re important, and you need to be effective, right?

The best thing you can do to make your meeting effective is demonstrate accountability and responsibility. That’s what executives — from vice president to chairman of the board — said in a study.

Ranking effectiveness traits on a scale of one to five, the executives gave accountability and responsibility an average rating of 4.48. And not one ranked it below 4.0.

Understanding the customer’s business goals and challenges was next. It came in at 4.4 out of five, with 92% of the executives rating it at least 4.0.

What else was important? The ability to listen before proposing solutions, a demonstrated knowledge of the industry, and knowledge about the customer’s business all scored high.

There was one thing the executives really didn’t like.

Don’t present yourself as a source of information about your competitors. This rated a lowly 2.72. The executives said that when a salesperson revealed information about competitors, it reduced their trust. Their reasoning: If he does it to them, he’ll do it to us.

The message is clear. To be effective, demonstrate accountability, know your customer’s business, and listen before you talk. And keep that stuff about competitors to yourself.

In other words, be professional and trustworthy.


Source: “Selling to Senior Executives: How Salespeople Establish Trust and Credibility with Senior Executives,” Target Marketing Systems, 1996.