The Influencer

Step Brothers

We’ve all been blindsided by the brother who magically appears from Poughkeepsie, NY and tells mom she can come live with him. No matter the scenario, influencers play a major role in the decision making process and can quickly change your next steps from taking a deposit to mom moving to Poughkeepsie.

But what can you do? You asked during the initial call who was going to be a part of the decision making process and believed all players had been identified. You offered to introduce yourself to them, but mom declined, reiterating this is her decision. So you focused on what mom wanted, rolled out the red carpet for her on-site visit, had an incredible One Extra and followed up the next day. You used the system, so you should get the check, right?

We need to look at each prospect and their family dynamics in layers. It’s critical you complete a thorough discovery process with the decision maker, but when asking who else is going to be involved in the process you need to cement yourself as the adviser. You know the majority of people making this decision do not make it alone. Use that expertise to your advantage and follow these best practices:

  • Who else is going to be involved in this decision? Ask it as more of a statement than a question. If you get the sense the prospect you are speaking to will be offended by your assumption, tweak the language to say something like, “Who else is going to be supporting you, as you make this decision?”
  • Getting permission to contact the other decision makers is often a challenge. Again, be the adviser and don’t ask it as a question. Simply changing your language to, “Now what is the best way for me to contact your daughter. Does she prefer e-mail or phone?” Again, it’s asking in an assertive manner, letting them know anyone they deem important enough to be a part of this process you deem important to reach out and meet. Your ultimate goal with your clients is to support them and this is a part of your supportive role.
  • When you follow up with an influencer, the focus of your conversation must consist of the impact questions we reference on the Inquiry CCS™:
    • What’s THEIR greatest concern?
    • What’s most important to THEM?
    • What’s going to be THEIR deciding factor?

Consistent and timely contact with all influencers will result in a faster sales cycle. It will allow you to drive the next steps and will reduce (not eliminate) family members coming out of the woodwork or Poughkeepsie, in my case.

Written by Jennifer Saxman, Director of Integrated Services at Bild & Company.

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