If you’re like most people, you target your sales efforts on the relevant departmental manager: head of IT, head of manufacturing, head of finance. However, if one of these managers has a proposal that requires funding, who is their only source of funds?

To get funding or sign-off for your proposal, your customer must create what is essentially an investment proposal. She invites her Tier One manager to fund her in return for growing those funds at a rate greater than or equal to the minimum threshold of what is acceptable. In practice, this means that your customer must be skilled at selling financial performance, not just operating performance, to her boss.

That’s something I can sell

Your task is to help her put this proposal together. You want her reaction to be, ‘That’s something I can sell upstairs.’ Working with your customer to put together the financial case for going ahead is the supreme act of partnership. You are selling with her not to her.

You are probably thinking that’s easier said than done. Major account selling isn’t easy, but hang in there, there’s always a way.

The power of one

What follows is one of our all-time favourite sales training tips for hooking the customer’s initial interest in the major sale. It’s called the power of one. You say to the customer:

■ ‘Let’s assume we can increase your sales by 1 per cent’

■ ‘Let’s assume we can reduce your costs in this area by 1 per cent’

■ ‘Let’s assume that as a result of this your team will effectively gain one more day each month’

One has the power of credibility. Most customers will readily agree that they can improve performance, reduce costs or increase profits by 1 per cent. It grabs their attention. It allows you to talk numbers immediately. If you can make your case assuming only a 1 per cent improvement, it’s highly persuasive.

Learn more about LDL sales training and negotiation training.

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