There may be no harder lesson to learn in sales.
Half of the sale takes place with the prospect. For great salespeople the other half takes place within their own organization. These professionals use the same skill sets that allow them to penetrate and create relationships deep in their prospect companies within their own company.
What do they do?
They take a sincere interest in the people within their company who are part of the team they need in order to succeed for the customer. They find a way to deliver value to their peers before claiming value for themselves. Sometimes this is as simple as making their teammates lives easier by delivering on their own commitments without having to be asked (or begged, or threatened). Sometimes it is just a matter of acknowledging the contribution someone makes and by showing a real appreciation.
Of course, taking someone within your company to lunch and courting them the way you court a prospect is fair game too.
By understanding that half the sale takes place within their own organization, great salespeople are able to acquire and direct the resources they need to deliver for the prospect (even while their peers watch and wait). They get preferential treatment because they give preferential treatment.
Look around your sales organization and tell me I am wrong. Then, take my advice and start working your new (internal) prospect list.
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Filed under: Sales 3.0