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Climb Higher in the Organization to Improve Close Rate

One of the biggest challenges that a sales person can face is to improve close rate and move higher in an organization.  The lower, or further away, you are from the ultimate decision maker, the lower your probability of closing the deal is.  Thus, we must always work to climb higher in an organization to improve the close rate.
In many sales situations, the main person that we interact with most on the prospect side is our coach.  And given that the coach has time to invest in talking with us, they will likely not be the ultimate decision maker.  As a result, in order to improve our sales performance, we must be able to get around our coach to get higher in the organization.
Due to the reasons below, regardless of your relationship with the coach, they are likely to stand in your way from getting around them:

Power:  It is likely that your coach has some level of power in the organization and by you going back to them and listening to them, you validate and feed into their power.  By you going around them and appearing to want to listen and obey to someone else, you threaten their level of power.

 The coach will likely want some level of control over the project.  With you only working with them, they have a certain level of control and that will decrease if you work with contacts above them.

 It is very likely that the ultimate decision maker has setup the coach to be a filter to deal with the vendors as they either do not want to talk with each vendor or they do not have the time to.  With that being the case, if the coach lets you go through them to the ultimate decision maker, they have not performed one of their tasks which is to filter the vendors.Below are three tactics to use to defuse or avoid this resistance to improve the close rate:

Standard information collection process:  During the sales process, there will be an early stage where information is collected from the coach.  Just after that, communicate to the coach that you will need to meet with the decision maker to collect additional information.  They will likely tell you that they have all the information you need so that is not necessary.  At that point you can share that it is the standard process to meet with them and you want to be sure that all of their interests are covered by the solution.

Ask questions that they do not have the answer to:  Another way to improve the close rate and get approval to go around the coach is by asking questions that they do not have the answer to.

Tell, don’t ask:  If you tell the coach that you need to meet with the decision maker versus asking them if you can meet with the decision maker, you can see a different response and impact the close rate.

Cater to the sensitivities:  Whatever tactic you use, if you factor in the coach’s sensitivities in terms of power and control and assure them that they are not failing in the area of filtering, you can more easily get around them and have a better close rate.


Launch Pad Solutions, LLC provides sales consulting helping organizations to improve close rate.


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This article was published on Thursday 11 November, 2010.
Back to main topic: Sales Tips
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Nine Good Sales Tips (Part I)
Nine Good Sales Tips (Part II)
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