Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Rules Have Changed

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: The Changing Approval Process

Many decision-makers no longer have the ability to sign-off on the same level of expenses or purchases that they were once accustomed to. This has significant ramifications.

The ego issue. Picture yourself in the executive office, perhaps a VP of Sales or Marketing. Until last year you could approve any purchase under $20,000. Now, you need to get approval from a purchasing committee for any expense over $5,000. Although you understand the philosophy behind this policy, it is challenging to deal with because in your eight-year history with the company you have never made a poor buying decision.

The buying committee. You may now have to deal with buying committees, and if you're not careful, you won't even get the chance to meet them. That means the decision to use your product, service or solution could be vetoed.

No approval. Some purchases simply won't be approved because of the extent or nature of the expense. Even though your solution may benefit the company, the organization may choose not to move forward simply because they know they won't get approval for the expense. It's not fair but it is a fact of business.

Once again, this means that you need to ask more questions to uncover the approval process. Be sensitive to the decision-maker's position if you discover that they no longer have the authority to sign-off on your product or service. Look for ways to help them facilitate their decision.

Source: Sales consultant/author Kelley Robertson

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