What about up?
In 100 Ways to Succeed in Sales 8: Sell Within Your Own Organization I, I noted how important it is for a salesperson to wire their own company exactly the same way they wire the prospect's: by building relationships, delivering value before claiming any, by showing appreciation for the small (and large) favors, by giving praise and credit to team members, and by courting your team mates.
How important is this to your success? It's critical. But then what about selling those whose names appear in the big boxes above yours on the organizational chart? Even more critical!
There is no one (nor should there be) anyone more in tune with what the customer wants and needs than their salesperson. A good salesperson will know all of the decision-makers within an organization, will be able to tell you all of their individual needs and preferences, and will be able to tell you which of them has the greatest credibility within the group. A great salesperson will not only know the decision-makers, but will also know every decision-influencer within the organization.
By developing these relationships, the salesperson is the front line
for innovation. As the customers needs change and develop over time,
who is the first person to discover that changes in your product or
service is necessary in order to help the client succeed? Who is the
first person to get feedback on how your product or service might be
changed to make it better for the client now?
Many times, that key prospect needs some special adjustment to the standard whatever in order to make a deal. And where do we get that special adjustment? Up!
There is no great secret as to how to sell up within your own organization. The same skills that allow you to succeed with prospects are the sames skills needed to sell on the inside, especially up! (access to power, the persuasive argument, the return on investment analysis, the mitigation of risks, the overcoming of objections or concerns) Maybe you need your sales manager, maybe you need the Vice President of Sales, maybe you need the CEO. A great salesperson will have their upper management staff as wired as the rest of the organization.
Don't think you need to treat your own organization the same way you treat the prospects? Good luck, friend. Some lessons are learned the hard way. But, if you want to succeed in sales now, start wiring your organization . . . top to bottom.