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How To Discover The Decision Making Process And Decision Making Unit?

Posted on Monday, 8th February 2010 - 1:21 pm by Fay Kelly
Can you share with us how you uncover DMP and DMU.
Do you have typical questions that help you?
Typically would be `who else is involved in this? Who should i talk to about this?

Any other tactics? How to be sure the answers you get are trustworthy? Eddy Mahieu posted this on Linked in recently and this was my response.

I teach my students to stay away from words like "decision maker" and "decision making process" because in a traditional process this is the point at which your client turns into a "gatekeeper". He may grant you access to information and people. He may not.

This stage in my sales road map is called "who`s who in the zoo". It`s the point in the sales conversation when you need to find out who makes what decision, how and when. The most important information is the "how", i.e. the criteria. Once you know the criteria you can demonstrate how you/your solution matches it exactly. The strategy is based on how people process language.

If you broach the subject with a statement like "Help me understand what I need to do and what data I need to provide to help you make a good buying decision." you can lead your client through a process of discovery. Your questions will be predicated on your client`s response and language. So, if your client says "Send us a proposal" you`d say "sure, I`d be glad to - can you tell me, who gets to read the proposal?" Your client will tell you - why wouldn`t he? Your next question HAS to be, "After everyone reads the proposal, what decision gets made?"

See, if you don`t find out what decision gets made, you`ll never find out if there is another step in this decision process or if other people are involved. For example, the client might require a written document initially. This might do the rounds - go to legal for clearance, go to I.T. for clearance, go to a couple of head honchos (CEO CFO) etc. Several decisions involved here culminating in "does this make the shortlist presentation?" Then comes the shortlist presentation where they decide who gets the contract.

Only when you have found out what is involved in reaching the FINAL decision do you then ask the client about criteria and assessment. If other people are involved, you must find out their criteria and they are the ONLY ones who really know how they are going to make a decision.

There is no easy way round this. You really need top communication skills. Language and how your client processes it are key. If I could teach you this just by writing to you I would gladly do so. I allocate half a day in my workshop simply to teach the theory and principles of this strategy and then it`s a question of practice, practice, practice. Worth it, so my clients tell me.

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