You ever find yourself reluctant to ‘take the next step?’
I’m talking about some important decisions you’ve considered. Maybe join the gym? Take your first yoga class? Join a group at church? Decide to downsize? Decide to buy a house?
Taking the next step can be hard for the people you’re selling to. Especially the people we call PFAs. The PFA is the person with financial authority for a purchase. Think final approval. Veto power. Obviously, a very important stakeholder to your sales success.
One way to improve your success in selling to the PFA is to learn about ‘risk’, learn how risky the PFA believes it is to take the next step.
Recently I was with a client that sells mechanical services and major project services to the energy and construction industries.
One of the salesmen shared his approach to a deal he was working on. At a sales call recently his prospect said they needed a cooling solution for a server room. The salesperson threw out a number to the PFA, a ballpark price to see how the he would react.
Another salesman in our meeting suggested a different approach. He said why not ask the PFA questions about risk? Is there a problem now with cooling, or is something happening that could become a problem? For example, if the business need is because the company is growing and wanting to attract more customers, then the risk of not having a solution is not growing. That sounds pretty important. And how’d you like to be the one stakeholder ultimately responsible for getting in the way of growth?
I also recommend acknowledging the risk, not discounting it. When people feel nervous about something, telling them to not feel nervous, or worse telling them they have nothing to worry about, doesn’t make them feel any better. You’re not going to make any emotional connections with that approach. When you acknowledge the PFA’s concerns about risk, you’ll gain the PFA’s respect.
In our Funnel Principle Selling system we see the PFA’s risk as a ‘stage 2’ issue. The PFA hasn’t committed to spending money on ANY solution yet. There needs to be a compelling enough risk of doing nothing, or, he can choose the less risky option, do nothing.
In my experience risk is always tied closely to emotional and personal issues. It’s not about the money for example; rather, it’s about being seen as making a poor decision with the company’s money. See the distinction?
If you liked this tip and want to learn more I encourage you to contact me at the information on the screen. I’d really enjoy hearing from you.
As always, I wish you the best success, and good selling.