Last week I had the good fortune of watching five salespeople from five different companies conduct conversations with new prospects. I was impressed that all five people invested time asking good questions at the outset of the meeting in order to gain a better understanding of their prospects’ situations.
However, what surprised me was that not one of them broached the topic of their prospects’ decision-making process. I found this even more interesting because all the prospects indicated that they would need to consult with someone else before making a buying decision. One prospect even said he would need to bring the seller’s solution to a committee before approval.
Yet, even though these clues were offered, none of the salespeople pursued that line of questioning to discover how the decision-making process worked, who might be involved, what criteria might be used or how to connect with the key people who would influence the outcome of a deal.