Most sales people avoid prospecting accounts with a technical decision maker. For some reason, all of your marketing and selling collateral seems to fall short of clinching the sale.
Companies with technical decision makers can represent lucrative contracts and loyal customers. There’s a bit more involved, however. That “bit more” of effort often is the reason you leave sales dollars on the table. It involves using the left side of your sales brains.
Here are four tips to grow your credibility with technical and engineering decision makers.
- Understand what makes technical decision makers skeptical. Technical decision makers aren’t just second-guessing you. They second-guess their peers as well. Technical and engineering decision makers have to be extremely certain about their engineering specifications. If those specifications are even a little bit off, the satellite doesn’t hit its proper orbit and careens out into space. Now their company is out billions of dollars. I’d be skeptical too with that type of risk involved.
- Consider the quality – and quantity – of your sales collateral. Is it robust or simply fluff? Does your data live up to scientific scrutiny? What is the source of the data used to create the info graphic you are using to support your sales initiative? Do these data come from a reputable scientific source or are these data qualitative and quantitative results from marketing research activities?
- Control the demo. Perhaps you have hauled in your sales engineer to “demo” – thinking that this individual will buy you come credibility with engineers and IT professionals. Technical decision makers may perceive your sales engineer as the first sign of intelligent life in the universe you’ve provided to them. But you know what happens. Their engineer – who may be the CEO – ends up talking to your engineer. You lose control of the sale because you are too intimidated to learn to speak to everyone seated around that business table.
- Stop the Spiel. I hope you haven’t learned a couple of technical terms and are throwing them about like confetti and presenting yourself as their technical peer. Technical decision makers will query you on your understanding of their science. If they realize you are an imposter, they will eat you for lunch. Misrepresenting yourself, based on sales scripting designed to buy you creds as an engineering or IT peer, backfires more often than not.
That’s why sellers usually are considered as less-than-rigorously trained than engineering and other technical professionals.
The root cause? Sellers haven’t done their homework and can’t handle the scrutiny and vetting process. You know what you know. Admit it when you don’t know what you are talking about.
This week, give yourself permission to use the left side of your sales brain. Learn some stuff about your engineering prospect’s technology. Then use what you have learned as the basis of asking them to talk about themselves and their company. Start a conversation. You and your prospect might learn something new.