Influencer and a decision maker: what’s the difference?


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When I hear sellers say, “He’s just the influencer, not the decision maker,” I get curious. What’s the difference?

If you consider the tech manager an influencer, but the solution won’t be purchased if s/he says ‘no’, this person is a decision maker.

If you don’t consider the gatekeeper at all, and s/he won’t let you in, s/he is a decision maker.

If the person who signs the check hands over the reigns to a department head, the ‘signer’ is an influencer.

If someone can swoop in from the top (who you don’t know and has not been a part of the discussion…but obviously should have been), s/he is a decision maker.

When your sales folks only try to get an appointment and ignore the 90% of leads who will not agree to a visit, the sales folks are the decision makers (they decided to do a double sale of appointment sale first, solution sale next).

How are you determining who is a decision maker? And what does that specious delineation get you? How does that affect your sale? Your approach? Why?

Each person you speak with is a decision maker. Each person who can affect a closed sale is a decision maker. Each time you connect with the prospect in a way that influences their decision (i.e. approaching the lead as if a sale were an objective rather than an outcome) you are influencing the sale.

Approach each lead as if the potential sale were an outcome. It will change your results far more than if you try to change your behaviors when dealing with specific people.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Sharon-Drew Morgen
I'm an original thinker. I wrote the NYT Bestseller Selling with Integrity and 8 other books bridging systemic brain change models with business, for sales, leadership, communications, coaching. I invented Buying Facilitation(R) (Buy Side support), How of Change(tm) (creates neural pathways for habit change), and listening without bias. I coach, train, speak, and consult companies and teams who seek Servant Leader models.


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