One of your accounts is being reorganized. Your contacts were advancing an opportunity, but now everyone is entering a survival mode, the company freezes budgets, and all decisions are put on hold. What's the best sales strategy in these cases?
In this Q & A, Ray Makela challenges you to think of these situations as an opportunity to reframe the conversation and position yourself as a trusted advisor. Watch this video to learn how and don’t let these accounts fall through the cracks.
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That's an interesting question and a common sales challenge. Unfortunately, we often hear it as an excuse. It's given as a, "Well, we're not moving forward because there's a reorg," or because there's a new head of sales or a new head of IT. There's some organizational change happening. And unfortunately, we often take that as kind of a defeatist attitude and say, "That's it. We're not moving forward."
I'd like to challenge you to use that as an opportunity to reframe the discussion and potentially enter the account differently. Think about the network of people that you have within that account that may be able to help to shed some light on the reorganizaion. If you've done a good job developing relationships and some coaches in the account, now it's the time to leverage those.
Perhaps, you can sit down, have a phone call, have a cup of coffee, and say, "Hey, can you just help us understand what's going on?" If you built that relationship, they might be willing to share some of the details, maybe not all the specifics but at least get an idea of what's happening internally.
The second piece that's important is to do your research. Going to LinkedIn, Sales Navigator (even things like Glassdoor or Yahoo Finance, or Google) may shed some light on what's happening on the account, especially if it's a public account. It could tell you what type of changes are happening and what strategies are coming out of that.
So do your research, look at the news, look at their press releases trying to learn what's going on that you may be able to adapt or respond to.
The third step is understanding how you can get access to the new players? So maybe you've been shut out from the context that you had, perhaps there are new decision makers in place, but if you've done your research and also understood the account, you may be able to go back and offer some insights.
Find out who those people are that you need to meet with. You may be able to go forward and offer some suggestions, "Hey, we've often seen with clients going through this type of transition or in this situation... Here are some things we've done that have been valuable." So that may be an opportunity to create a new script or a new conversation based on what's changing in the account.
The fourth piece is to offer to help. Don't think about this as an immediate sale. Offer some advice, be that strategic advisor, use your expertise to provide some insights that are helpful for them as they go through this transition.
The final piece is you need to be patient. I know in sales we don't like to hear that, and certainly, sales leaders don't like to hear that. But this is a long-term scenario, where paying it forward by offering some help now may pay dividends later.
After things settle down a little bit, as budgets start to free up and the reorg is finished, they'll be looking to you as that trusted advisor to come in as their solution provider or to be able to get that project done.
So the answer is, it may not be today. It's just when might be the right time? When would it be good to re-engage? Let's keep those conversations going so that when the dust settles, you'll be in a great position to assist that client and move forward with your solutions.
Those are my suggestions when dealing with an account going through a reorg, their budget is in turmoil, and their leadership is changing. Instead of taking that as a no or the opportunity is dead, think of that as an opportunity to modify the game. Rethink it a little bit, and see if you can move forward in the future on a different playing field.
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About Ray Makela