In ancient Greek mythology, Heracles was given the impossible task of capturing Cerberus, a multi-headed hound that guarded the gates to the underworld. Hades, the underworld’s CEO, told Heracles that he would only allow him to take Cerberus if he could (do the impossible and) tame him. Heracles put the beast in a choke hold until it submitted.
As a B2B seller, you may often feel like Heracles sent on an impossible mission to close a massive new account. It quickly becomes clear that the buyer is not one person at all, but a few people, and that there are still more involved in the final decision.
To be your most effective in pursuing large B2B sales opportunities, you might want to think twice about the body armor and sword, and instead keep the following 5 tips in mind:
- Buyers are not multi-headed hounds from hell. Sure, they can be tough but the gates they control have nothing to do with the underworld.
- Be prepared for multiple decision makers. With attention to risk way up, and pressure to drive costs way down, more people get a say and there’s a lot on the line – for their organization and for them personally.
- Don’t assume they’re aligned. With multiple buyers from the same organization, it’s easy to feel intimidated and assume that their interests are identical. That is rarely the case. Discover what drives them individually and as a group.
- Bring others. As confident as you are, the odds of you being able to address all interests from all stakeholders are slim. Choose your bench carefully, and invest the time to get them prepared and aligned with you.
- Leave the sword at home. For a competitive sales meeting, your body produces adrenaline for what feels like a survival moment. Take a breath before you enter that conference room and realize you are not facing life or death, just a group of people who are trying, like you, to accomplish something for their company.
So, to you as a competitive salesperson B2B buyers can sometimes seem like the mythical Cerberus guarding what should rightfully be yours. Use the 5 tips above to remember that closing the sale may take a little longer and a few more people than you’d like, but it’s still yours if you sell effectively on your own and with others.