If you’re selling saddles, make sure you’re not talking to the horse! You need to be speaking to the decision maker—not someone else who isn’t qualified to make purchasing decisions. Suppose you’ve just made one of your best sales presentations ever, and when you ask for the order, your prospect says, “I’ll have to give all this information to Mr. Big; he makes the final decisions.” You’ve just spent all your time with the messenger! When it’s presented to Mr. Big, it won’t have the same impact that you can give it.
So why not find out early in the meeting whether the person you’re talking to can make a decision? If he can’t, you can suggest that he bring in Mr. Big halfway through if he likes your presentation up to that point. At that point, you can give a short recap of what you’ve already presented and ask for any questions right away. Then proceed to close the sale with the person who can make the purchasing decision.
Always ask early in the presentation or when you’re setting the appointment whether the person you’re talking to can place an order. If the decision maker is not available, you can suggest that you set up another meeting when he can be a part of the discussion. Leave some literature (but not everything) for them to review before the next meeting. Always leave people wanting or needing more information, so that they can’t make a negative decision without you present. If you leave some basic literature, they should have questions ready for you at your next appointment, which will show interest in your product or service.
Having the decision maker present removes the guessing of what people will talk about after you leave. Often if you have the decision maker present, you’ll get a quicker answer or maybe even a sale on the spot.