This blog post, #3 of our 10 part series, on inside coaches is from my new book, Close Deals Faster: The 15 Shortcuts of the Asher Sales Method. We’ve already covered two chapters, on the topics of FOCUS and RESEARCH. Chapter Three is called “Use Insiders to Fully Understand Prospects and Their Requirements.”
An insider is someone connected to a prospective buyer, usually an employee or close business associate. They can make the difference between the fast track to a close or never even getting your foot in the door. As such, understanding this subject and how to leverage it is a must for all B2B salespeople who want to close deals faster.
Get an edge
B2B sales are relationship- based. When selling commoditized goods, relationships are more important than price. The “who you know” factor is not to be taken lightly. In fact, it could be the most important edge you have in your quest to close deals faster.
The best insiders, or “coaches” as I sometimes call them based on Miller and Heiman’s Strategic Selling book, have the following characteristics:
- They are someone inside the prospect’s organization (or very close to it)
- They are credible within the prospect’s organization
- They are knowledgeable of the organization’s requirements
- They are a person with whom you have credibility
- They want you to get the job
They will literally do a large part of your sales job by advocating for you!
The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule pops up a lot in sales, and insiders are no exception. With an inside recommendation, more than 80 percent of executives are likely to meet with salespeople. Only 20 percent are willing to meet after receiving an email or phone call. As you can see, having an insider stacks the odds greatly in your favor, which is why an important part of Asher Strategies’ 20 Step New Business Capture Checklist is to leverage these “coaches.”
What if you don’t have any insiders? One solution is to use social media for common connections, especially LinkedIn which does this work for you. As soon as you open a profile, you will see your shared connections. Send them an InMail and invite them for lunch – you will be amazed at how much inside information you can get this way to help you close deals faster, especially if you provide a hot prospect of your own!
Another thing an insider can share is the personality of the decision maker you are trying to meet, so you can prepare your approach accordingly. I go into this subject much more in depth in the book, but in general there are four major buyer personalities:
- Directive Driver
- Expressive Communicator
- Reflective Thinker
- Supportive Helper
By mirroring the buyer’s personality type through the cadence of your voice, your body posture, and even the type of email you send, you can greatly influence the outcome of the sale in your favor. Insiders provide invaluable data so you can take advantage of this.
Want to learn more? Please order my book Close Deals Faster: The 15 Shortcuts of the Asher Sales Method which is published by IdeaPress and available on Amazon.