Paul continues his decision maker series: Level II—influencers and end users.
These are down-to-earth, practical people. Think the way they think.
Level IIs want to avoid things that are too complex, disruptions, hypotheticals, overexposure.
“They want something that is….”
“[These decision makers] are influential in the decision because their opinion is their power.”
“Your goal is to have them help sell your solution to other members of the organization.”
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How do I sell to influencers and end users?
(Transcribed from podcast)
Again, today, we are continuing on this five-part series where we’re going to talk about different levels of decision makers. We might even throw a bonus decision maker in there. We’re going to talk about selling to the entrepreneur. That’ll be the final session that we will go to. But again, this is a whole series (five to six parts) on how we sell to the different types of decision makers. Today we’re going to talk about those individuals that use the product that you’re selling; they maintain the product that you’re selling. They’re managing the people that use the product. We call these the influencers or the end-users.
Now, before we get into this, a quick shout-out to Andrea over at The Creative Impostor Studios. The podcast continues to grow. It’s almost like it’s finding a new audience every single month. And a lot of it is because Andrea and her team do such a wonderful job. So, Andrea, thanks to you. A tip of the cap to you. Way to go. We’re going to have a link over to her website on this episode’s webpage. So, make sure you check it out if you’re interested in starting a podcast, or if you already have a podcast. She’s a great resource for you.
Also, make sure you pick up your copy of Value-Added Selling. It’s on the fourth edition. It’s available at Barnes & Noble, Chapters, Amazon—wherever you get your books. Make sure you check it out. In that book, we’ve got so much information on the different types of decision makers, especially these types of decision makers, so check it out. It’s available wherever you get your books.
Let’s get back to that question: How do you sell to these influencers or end-users? You’ve got to remember, these are the people who use and maintain what you sell, or they’re the people managing those who use and maintain the product that you’re selling. They’re down to earth, practical people. They just want things to run smoothly. For these individuals, it’s all about making their life easier. So, when you think about some of their business needs, what they really need, they need something that’s going to perform.
This decision maker lives in the day-to-day world where things just need to work. So they want performance, they want productivity, they want something that’s easy to use, convenient for them. They want performance that’s on time as well. They want to make sure you have what they need when [they need] it. And so these are some of the concerns that they have. Things that they want to avoid or things that they fear: they don’t want more to do than what they’re currently doing. They don’t want something that’s going to add to their responsibility. They don’t want things that are too complex, distractions, hypotheticals, too much exposure. These are the things they want to avoid. What they want is they want something that’s smooth, stable, predictable, secure, safe: something that fits into their workflow already.
I’ll give you an example of this. I think of this. A few years ago, when I used to sell to power plants, there was this one power plant in my territory—it’s actually one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the U. S. Really a magnificent facility. And I was going to meet with one of these Level-II guys. This was a guy that was actually using the product that I was selling. But his role was pretty unique. He was a machinist at the facility, but he was also the guy that would test new tools. Whenever the higher-ups were thinking about bringing in a new tool supplier, they wanted to try a new product, he was the guy who would test it out—so very influential in the decision-making process. And so, this guy soon became an internal champion of mine. And you’re going to hear that word a lot in Value-Added Selling—we talk about internal champions. Internal champions are those individuals who help sell your solution within their own company. And they oftentimes do a better job of it than we can.
So, this guy, he was my champion, man. He loved our products, and whenever I would show him a new product, here’s what he would tell him, “Don’t show me a product unless it makes my life easier, or if it solves a problem that I run into.” Think about how simple my life was as his salesperson. I knew when Hilti would come out with new products (the company I sold for at the time), I would ask myself, ‘Okay, is this going to make his life easier?’ And if it did, I’d show it to him. If it didn’t, I didn’t bother. And the key was, I knew it was all about making his life easier or solving a problem that he is running into. So, every time I would come up with a new tool or a new idea, I would use that as my benchmark of whether I should show it to him or whether I should not. That was the key. So, this individual, they’re influential in the decision because their opinion is there power.
This guy, the machinist I sold to, he did not have a purchasing card. He could not go out there and buy product, but what he could do is give his opinion, and his opinion was where his power was at. So when you think about those influencers or end users, the people that you’re selling to—those internal champions—your goal is to have them help sell your solution to other members of the organization, including the procurement department.
Think about it. If four or five individuals at a company, they go to the procurement person and say, “Here’s what we’d like to use on this project,” “Here’s the software we’d like to buy,” “Here’s the upgrade we need,” “Here’s the equipment we’re hoping to use.” If they get several of those requests if they (meaning the procurement people), if the procurement person gets several requests for one supplier, one provider, one partner, whatever, they’re going to listen because then it becomes too high risk to not listen to them. Because the last thing they want is a phone call saying, “Why’d you go with that supplier?” Instead, they’re going to make sure they go with the safe decision. And if several people are recommending it, then it’s safe.
So those are those level two, those users, those influencers. Again, what they’re looking for in a product, they want something that’s simple to use, something that’s easy to maintain, easy to operate, that’s reliable, that’s user-friendly. They don’t want a lot of headaches. They want something that’s easy to service, easy to fix. Built-in simplicity. You guys get the point? That’s what they’re looking for. And from you as the individual, hey, they want you to be a regular person, not slick, or try to be overly persuasive. Just be down to earth. Do what you say you’re going to do. Be like them. That’s what they’re looking for. Think the way they think. You’re going to define value in their terms. You’re going to have a whole team of internal champions selling for you within that opportunity. All right, folks. That’s how you sell to these users and influencers.
Make it a big day.