Never accept “no” from someone who can’t give you a “yes”! This is a primary rule of successful sales. Considering all the steps involved with various sales programs and training, still no deal closes until someone agrees to buy what the salesperson is selling. Literally, that means that every sales process requires identifying the individual that can say “yes”. Who is that individual that can approve the transaction; that makes the money move? More importantly, is that individual the most valuable person for a successful sale?
Every sale involves the exchange of value between a buyer and a seller. The value can be money, information, services, goods, or the right relationship. In order to have an effective sale, someone needs to make an offer, someone needs to accept it, and both sides need to be satisfied at that moment. But, the true value is relational, not transactional! When the purchase is made someone benefits more than everyone else. The purchasing department may have negotiated the best deal. Or, the business owner may have confirmed her keen insight of the marketplace by acquiring the latest, game-changing technology. But after the purchase, someone inside the organization can now do their job better, faster, cheaper, or all of the above. And, that person is ecstatic! Their benefit is extremely personal. That is the Yes-man!
In entrepreneurial enterprises the organizational and individual beneficiary can easily be the same. However, in larger corporations, beneficiaries can involve multiple people in multiple groups. To maximize the transaction’s value, the seller needs to find the individual that gained the absolute most from the purchase. That individual must be serviced well and often. That relationship is the most critical. That is the Yes-man. Whether that individual actually pays for the purchase or not, by benefitting the most they can internally communicate the value the loudest. That person sings the product’s praises; and is internally eligible to drive opportunities to cross-sell, up-sell, or simply sell more. Repeat purchases and referrals are enormously valuable to a sales professional. A good Yes-man delivers both!
The Yes-man is the reason that the deal works. Without the Yes-man, organizations buy software that is never used. Or, businesses buy products that never leave inventory. Then sadly, the seller never does business with the entity again. Conversely, successful long-term sales relationships require discovering who really benefits. Whether that person benefits by having better tools, more prestige, greater authority or increased career success, that person must become a large, internal advocate who champions the sales professional’s ability to sell again. That person makes the next “yes” happen. Furthermore, they make the seller successful by facilitating a repeat client and generating referrals. Find your customers’ Yes-man!
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond