[4 Buying Influences] Each one Counts!

Last Tuesday morning I was in the middle of hosting a webinar and my phone was blowing up. (Thankfully I remembered to put it on silent.)

The two messages weren’t enough so my friend shot me a text message to make sure I got her message.

When we spoke she said “we finally got ‘em”. What she was referring to was a large grocery chain that she and her team had been pursuing for five long years. Having spent 24 years in the chemical industry, I can to you that these long sales cycles are normal.

After the congratulations were taken care of she mentioned that she was not only excited about the win, but was relieved that she was able to recover from a tactical error of not including each of the ‘buying influences’ which lengthened the process and almost cost her the opportunity.

My first words were ‘tell me more’.

She I have known and practiced for many years the four buying influences that are part of many buying decisions. These include the economic buyer, the user buyer, the technical buyer and the coach. I said “Yep, straight out of book ‘The New Strategic Selling’”.

She went on to say:

After the RFP was sent out and we were one of the final qualifiers, I got caught up in working with their operation team (user buyer), their CFO and his team (economic buyer) and the coach (the CEO) that I overlooked the technical buyer with my follow up and correspondence. Over time this lead to unforeseen delays in the process and the incumbent was able to strengthen their position. She said this was foolish on my part since our offering is driven heavily by customized reports which our IT team and their IT team must be in alignment on (technical buyer) to make this a reality.

Thankfully a person that I had developed a relationship with on their panel pointed out my error. I immediately called the technical buyer to apologize and he granted a meeting with our CIO. Over a short period of time these two professionals connected and we regained our position over the incumbent – whew. Today, four months later after correcting my mistake and regaining the trust of the entire panel, we won the business!

Lesson learned …. To not only identify but include the four buying influences from start to finish in the decision making process.

A few minutes ago my phone rang and my friend will be receiving a RFP from another huge grocery store chain. This time, she said, I am going to get it right from step one.

I know she will and so can you!

To your success,
Andy

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