Posted by: magnussonllc | August 10, 2009

Great Questions to Help Identify The Person of Power

Knowing the decision making power of your contact within the organization is a critical component of qualifying a client. There are a number of traps easily fallen into when trying to determine who has the power and how to reach that person. Power doesn’t necessarily mean the most “executive” title and power can be elusive. Political power can determine who the ultimate decision-maker is. Today companies tend to be more risk-averse. This can manifest itself in who has the decision making authority, as well as, creating additional checks and balances within an organization. The buying process now involves more people at even higher levels.

 You will need to work with multiple members of the decision-making team. This will also help you build sponsorship, credibility and trust among that team. Regardless, you will eventually have to address the person with the ultimate power. The questions remains, how do you know if the person who claims the power actually possesses it? These question can help reveal who that person really is:Powerperson

  • Who else, besides yourself, is involved in this decision?
  • How have decisions of this magnitude previously been?
  • Who else is impacted by this decision?
  • Have you ever sought approval for a project of this magnitud before?
  • What roadblocks could stop this decision?
  • Once this decision is made, who will sign off on the paperwork?
  • Who can veto this decision?
  • Who owns the budget for funding this decision?
  • If you need more funding, who will you talk to?

 Be careful not to ask questions that could threaten the trust and rapport you have developed. Your contact may not have the authority to say yes, but may be able to say no, and diminishing the confidence they have in you could cause this to happen. Once you’ve identified the “Power Person”, consider how they approach decision making. Adapt your conversation to that paradigm. Five rules for understanding decision criteria are:

1. The issues we propose to address must be relevant in the larger context of the business.

2. The statement of your value assumption must be valid.

3. The problem and the solution must be actionable

4. The solution’s value must be measurable

5. There must be consensus and alignment around the findings, conclusions and final decision

 By aligning your conversation to these five rules you will connect better to the person of power. This will increase your odds of success.


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