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“Is There Anyone Else We Should We Be Talking To?”

by David Brock on September 25th, 2013

Sometimes we become so task focused, we lose site of the bigger picture and what we could be doing.

We’re working a deal with a prospect.  They’re spending time with us, we are learning their requirements, moving through the buying cycle.  We’re caught up in the deal, in trying to move forward.  And we forget something critical, we forget to ask, “Is there anyone else we should be talking to?”

We eventually win the deal, we thank the customer for their business, we’re happy to have won and move on.  We forget to ask, “Is there anyone else we should be talking to you?  Are there other people in your organization that may have the same issues?  Are there people you know in other companies who may have the same issues?

We talk to a prospect, perhaps the right person, perhaps the wrong person, but before concluding the call, we forget to ask, “Is there anyone else we should be talking to?”  Or “Who are the people we should be talking to?”

It’s a fundamental in selling, but too often overlooked.  And it’s crippling.

In a deal, we need to understand who is involved, what their roles are and their “stake” in the decision.  We need to understand their attitudes to us and the alternatives and a number of other things.  But we fail to ask.  Too often, we are comfortable dealing with our “friends and buddies.”  Too often, we are time pressed, so we focus on just a few.  We fail to identify the other people we should be talking to, missing a critical opportunity, threatening our ability to win a deal.

Or we’re prospecting, finding new opportunities.  In our current accounts, with current prospects, or new companies.  We target an individual.  It may or may not be the right person.  We may or may not be able to engage them in a buying activity.  Whether it’s the right person or the wrong one.  Whether they offer potential or not.

We always need to be asking, “Is there anyone else we should be talking to?”

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6 Comments
  1. Doug Schmidt permalink

    Dave brings a simple question that is easily forgotten. It seems like our responsibilities as sales and marketing professionals are becoming more complicated at the same time we may be forgetting basic questions we should be answering. Looks like moving forward coaching and front line management skills may be critical so we as marketing/sales professionals we don’t forge the basics.

  2. I agree with this one Dave – it comes back to The Power of One doesn’t it? The power of that one extra step, that one extra quesiton, that one extra follow up call. Thanks for the reminder. Cheers

  3. Thanks David! This is a key question to ask right as we begin working with customers because it assures that stakeholders are aligned with the initiative.

    This could also lead to is more opportunity within the prospective company. You never know what additional need there is inside the organization. Other teams or divisions may have similar problems that could be solved with your product. We see this often with software development teams.

    • John: I’m so flattered and happy to see you commenting on the blog! Thank you! I think there are a couple of key questions that need to be part of any sales call and most business conversations: Is there anyone else we should be talking to is a key one. As you point out, there may be others involved in the decision, or it helps us identify and open new opportunities within the organization. One of my other favorite questions (and I’ve posed this with you) is: Is there anything we should have discussed (or that I should have asked you) that we haven’t? It’s just a quick check and an opportunity for the customer to reflect and say–“Oh, this is important to me……”

      Thanks so much for the great comment. Hope to see you as a regular here! Regards, Dave

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