It’s human nature. People would rather only talk to those they know and who like them. Makes sense. However, that is not always the best course of action, especially in complex sales. When you’re faced with decision makers and influencers who are not necessarily your biggest fans, don’t ignore them – instead, make a concerted effort to talk to and understand them better.
A complex sale is one in which many people are involved in the buying process on the customer’s side, and many people are involved in the sales cycle on your company’s side. When a customer is thinking through their functional challenges, impacts, business goals and priorities, there are always many different people involved in this process.
And, typically, not all of them will be in favor of your products and services.
When we only talk to those we know and like us, we only hear what we want to hear: good things. As sales people, we need to understand everyone’s point of view, good and bad, and chip away at their objections little by little. You can’t make everyone happy, but you can neutralize people once you understand their issues.
Maybe they got burned by your company years ago but your company has changed since then, so whatever they experienced is no longer an issue. If you do not have a conversation, then how will you know what their issues are and how to handle their objections? You have to put yourself out there to hear the bad things since these individuals may be key decision makers and influencers. Ignoring them and only talking to those you like or know you will place you at a huge disadvantage. You could work for months and hear what you want to hear, but the customer may take a different direction without you ever knowing it since you did not talk to them.
I cannot think of one reason why you would not want to talk to everyone involved in a buying decision, even if they don’t like you or your company. Ensure you know everyone involved in a decision and talk to everyone, including decision makers and influencers – whether they like you or not. It’s crucial that you understand and address any objections in a complex sale to get the full picture.