Hi! I'm "Techie" Tom. I'm happy to spend some time chatting with you. I'm an expert in my field and understand a lot about your offering.
Hi! I'm "Boss" Betty. I've got problems that need solving and unfulfilled opportunities. I screen my calls and spend most of my time "fighting fires."
Hi! I'm "Dollar" Dan. Nothing ever gets spent unless I give the go-ahead. I'll talk to sales pros, but only if they talk ROI.
According to the selling super-guru Neil Rackham, the days are gone when corporations had single "decision-makers." Instead, decision-making is almost always split between different individuals, and if you don't sell to each of them, you aren't going to make the sale. These decision-makers are:
- The Access Owner (AKA "Techie Tom"). This is the person who's actually willing to talk to a sales rep, and can give you the inside scoop on how things are done. This person also decides whether or not to give you access to the other two decision makers. Ignore or slight him, and you'll find yourself cooling your heels by the receptionist's desk...forever.
- The Problem Owner (AKA "Boss Betty). This is the person who owns the problem or challenge that your offering addresses, and is thus highly unlikely to be an "access owner" or to normally be willing to spend time educating you about the organization. If you try to pump the problem owner for information, you'll find out that she's too busy to meet with you...all of the time.
- The Budget Owner (AKA "Dollar Dan"). This is the person who has control of the money the problem owner will need to purchase your offering. Typically, the budget owner isn't much interested in the problem or solution, but whether the money be spent wisely. Forget to do your ROI homework, and your contract will remain in his inbox...indefinitely.