In a previous article “Shorten The Cycle.” What Cycle? Or How To Win The #CRE #TECH Sales Game. I had a bit of fun and threw out a few observations along with a tease that I would solve all of your worldly or at the very least sales problems by telling you how to win the #CRE #TECH sales game.
And I will…but what are the parts and pieces of that entire sales cycle.
How do you go from initial customer contact to product implementation?
Let’s start with the “Who” and how to get there.
And when I say the “who” I am focusing on that one person in an organization that can and will BUY your product.
But as I mentioned in that previous article that who may be very different in every way shape and or form.
From my experience in dealing with this, let’s break that down.
Most all organizations and #CRE is not excluded have hierarchy whether they want to admit it or not.
Now, some of this may seem familiar and even redundant to you but, you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t want to pick up something, anything to help push you just that one step forward.
Let’s start with The Gatekeeper.
By tradition that is someone who sits between you and that one person who can say yes. In #CRE that’s not always the case as a matter of fact that not usually the case at all. You can Google your ass off and find hundreds of techniques to help you get past that one person. Here is my advice. Be nice and professional to them, and respect their position but you can go right past them after just one interaction and never have to do anything but say “hello” from then on. This goes against some of the known traditional thoughts but that’s the point.
Now on to The Influencer.
Or as I prefer to call them “research assistants.” They will do all the research for the person who will say yes or no. They don’t have a say in the budget or any actual authority, BUT they can make or break you. Fair or not that’s who and what they are. In the minds of the decision maker, they are invaluable. So with that said. Work them and make sure you touch and hand hold however many times it takes. Also, most of them are young and just getting in #CRE so be careful and remember when you were there too. If you are one of them then Good Fucking Luck. What do I mean by that? Have fun dancing with yourself! If you get frustrated, go look in the mirror. There’s your problem.
Which Bring Us To The Decision Maker.
This is typically the C-suite; the person who signs the check, re-allocates budget on their own, and says “yes” without conferring with anyone. And for once being in #CRE and #TECH has its advantages. This is what I have seen the most of. Say what you want but #CRE people are smart as hell (throwback phrasing) and most of the time this is who you are dealing with. Sometimes for better or worse. If they love you and your product you are GOLD if not….well you are Fucked. Simple question, who are you targeting and why are you not in front of them now? Go to the top and stay there!
But Beware Of The WannaBe Decision Maker.
And Wannabe is just that so beware because they are generally and can be a deal breaker. It’s easy to see. They talk total shit about how much they are connected and pushing the C-suite. If they are talking trash then it is indeed trash! You might be wasting more time than you realize. Ask them how many actual solutions they have paid $$ for. If they say none then move on and find another person in that company to work with. If they seem legit and are just helping recommend products or solutions then also ask them who within the organization they are working with. Don’t burn them, keep them in the process. Making friends will pay dividends down the road. Everyone wants to champion a winner. Help them help you.
But How Do You Handle The Up And Downfield Blocker?
This one is a bit tricky because the blocker may look, walk and talk like the influencer. They’re usually a junior or mid-level, person who does all that research and is the primary contact and communication source for the company. So, you think you got this and maybe so but, what happens when the blocker stops answering your phone calls. What happens when your emails go unopened, and the deal stalls? The kids call that “Ghosting.”
When should you just walk away and focus your efforts elsewhere? Is there someone else in the company that needs to hear your story? You should know. That’s what you get paid for. Do your fucking job and do it right. Be prepared! How do you keep up and stay prepared? It’s called the internet. Do your own research!
Again somewhat generic and not that far-reaching but what’s interesting for #CRE is not so much the “Who” but where those people are in any #CRE organization.
Let me explain.
Let’s take a REIT as an example. There are an estimated 2,500 REITs operating right now.
And those REIT’s own approximately 200,000 properties in the U.S alone.
Right off the top of your head, who is your target decision maker? Well, if you were paying any attention I said go right to the top. And how do you find out who that is? I did say research? That’s called database management 101. If you do your job and get connected with that top tier C- suite person you are gold. But, of course, you already know that.
Here is the #CRE and #Sales part that you have been hanging around for…
Here are parts of just a few conversations that I have had in the last couple of weeks…
“She wants to change and use our product and is very tech savvy but is still reluctant to make that big decision.”
“He understands the value of our product and has already calculated the savings for just one year but is finding it hard to justify in any type of budget change beyond what they have.”
“Our pilot has proven to be flawless but they still don’t want to roll it out across their entire portfolio yet.”
“We are dealing with three different layers of the organization just to get to a yes. Two people are begging for our product but the third sees no real improvement to what they are doing now.”
“We’ve done a demo, made an in-person visit and it was all positive yet they went silent and are not returning our calls or emails.”
“I’ve shown them examples and case studies of how we have worked with other customers just like them and they aren’t even interested in what we are doing.”
Now, most of what that probably says to you is that the “sales process” in each of these instances can and should be “fixed.”
And I can agree with you on that but to the point, I am trying to make, who is the decision maker in each of the above scenarios?
Is there not enough information from just those brief snippets to make a clear definition of who? No?
And that’s not going to change anytime soon and why is that?
#CRE is just now starting to recognize the need for one designated person within an organization whose job it is to do #CRE and #TECH and even then it’s still more of what?
A fragmented sales and implimentaion process.
Is that a solvable problem? Of course, it is.
Remember that there are 2500 individual REIT’s alone that own and manage over 200,000 properties. Someone in those organizations is responsible for every one of those properties and their jobs is to do what? Maintain and create MORE VALUE.
I have a question. Do they need YOU at all?
So far the answer has been…NO!
What are you going to do about that?
So I asked, “Do You Have Any Idea Who Makes The #CRE #TECH Buying Decision?”
It seems pretty clear to me!
+1 There is another issue I think you are missing and that is your pitch. You think you have that down!
+1+1 No, no you don’t!