I know that you are saying that IBM buys lots of products and services, and they do.  But no salesperson, no matter how talented and relentless sells directly to IBM or any other entity.  IBM is a company. You sell to people who work for IBM.  And, what’s more, there are several of them who will be involved in every sale.  If you are to be successful, you need to convince each of those folks that you offer the best solution.

When you discover a target firm or organization to peddle your widgets to, you might spend much of your time with a purchasing manager, as well as with one or more people who have a role in the group that will use those widgets, and perhaps with people from finance and legal.

You must develop approaches that will anticipate each of their varying needs and requirements.  You should expect that each will have different questions and may raise different objections. Some will be focused on cost and payments, others with features and reliability and still others may need to be assured that there are no restrictions, regulations, trademarks or patents which might need to be addressed.

Even in small shops, including single proprietorships, where multiple roles may be combined into one person’s job, you still must be prepared to address the questions and issues that come from widely different perspectives.

You are not just going to make a single sale.  If you want the commission or gold stars associated with their purchase of your product or service, you must make several simultaneous sales.  That takes time, great listening skills, problem solving, organization and perseverance.  Are you ready?



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