Ten Key Characteristics of a Potential Advocate in Your Prospect’s Company
You can be more successful selling to corporate buyers if you have an ally on the inside. Find an employee who can provide you with the information you need to succeed. This information may be on purchasing procedures, buying needs or about colleagues who are for or against your proposal.
You should not seek private data or anything illegal; only relevant facts that you can use to support your position and close a sale that is in the best interest of the people and companies involved. People with the following characteristics are most likely to successfully promote your cause internally:
- A person who is accessible and willing to meet with you when asked. People who do not return phone calls and emails promptly may not be there when you need a response quickly.
- One with whom you get along. Those with personality traits similar to yours are more likely to befriend you.
- A person who can provide valuable information. Do not seek gossip or information that is illegal or unethical to obtain. Find a person who can give you objective facts that can help you target your presentation to the appropriate people and needs.
- One predisposed to support your position. People who see the benefit to themselves and their companies are more likely to support your efforts.
- People who are good at influencing others. One function of your advocate is to pre-sell your proposal before your formal presentation. He or she should be able to communicate the benefits of your proposal to colleagues persuasively.
- Those who have accurate information. Your supporter should provide you with truthful data that will help you better help the company ethically.
- People who are considered credible by colleagues. If your advocates are to be effective in convincing colleagues about the benefits of your proposal, they should be respected employees who have influence on others.
- Those who deliver on commitments. Find people who will do what they promise to do.
- One who stands to personally gain from the sale. An ally who can benefit from the sale, but who still works with you in the best interests of his or her company is a worthy supporter.
- Someone who will help you network with people involved in the decision. An outgoing person who is well connected among decision influencers can introduce you to them and help you communicate with them.
Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, seminar leader, television host and president of Premium Book Company, which sells books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission-only basis and conducts on-site training for publishers' sales forces.
Brian is the author of "How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns)," a do-it-yourself guide to selling books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities, with no returns. He has written many articles about book publishing and marketing, is the author of the eight e-booklets with "Proven Tips for Publishing Success," and creator of the series of "Book Marketing Wizards." He is also the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter, "Book Marketing Matters."
Brian is the host of the television series "The Book Authority" and has aired over 650 shows. In addition, he is the author, narrator and producer of the media-training video program "You're On The Air."