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For decades, I’ve urged clients, “If you want a decision, ask a decision-maker!”
Which mean you must discover, quickly and accurately …

  • Who’s a player versus a pretender?
  • Who’s a decision-maker versus an evaluator, recommender, suggester or influencer?

I’ll never diminish the quality and humanity of another person who’s not a decision-maker. However, if I'm expecting them to give me the thumbs-up, a nod of approval or say “yes” to an idea, solution or agreement and they don’t have the power or authority to do so, I’m wasting their time and mine.
Ouch. Frustrating!
Below, you’ll see a series of questions. No, you don’t pose them right out-of-the-box. For example, if you were to greet a prospect or client with, “Hi, nice to see you, so is this your decision or somebody else’s?” … that would be goofy and stupid.
You still must develop rapport and discover what problems need to be solved, needs filled and dreams or goals realized.
Please take a peek at the following eight questions, which obviously, aren’t listed sequentially. Play with the possibilities.

  1. Whose budget will be used to help you … (reference their previously stated goals)?
  2. Whose goals or strategic initiatives are most impacted by this decision? What role will they play in the decision-making process?
  3. How will the success of our i.e., products, services, contributions, or solutions be evaluated or assessed? And who will be doing that assessment or evaluation? To make sure we’re all on the same page, how soon can we all get together?
  4. Who approves our final game plan? If there’s a question or a disagreement about our game plan, who makes the final call?
  5. Will this be your decision or will you be making suggestions to another leader or team member? Who might that be?
  6. If this was your decision, how would you decide? How would you like to work together?
  7. Ethically, I have a responsibility or ethical obligation to your, i.e., president, CEO, owner, committee, board, senior leadership team, etc., to understand what he/she/they would like to accomplish, and I’d hate to commit an ethical breach. How can you help bring us all together to play with the possibilities; consider your alternatives; explore various solution (use their specific language for a desired outcome or goal)?
  8. On occasion, some clients like to include others in the decision-making process, because their company has various levels of approval-authority, and it’s usually based upon i.e., a dollar amount, a level of commitment, etc. How might that come into play, if at all with your company's decision-making process?

When you decide, to adapt and apply the preceding, others will then decide, they want you.

Jeff Blackman is a Hall of Fame speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, contact Jeff at 847-998-0688 or jeff@jeffblackman.com. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s free e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s books include “Stop Whining! Start Selling!” (an Amazon Bestseller) and the revised 4th edition of the best-selling “Peak Your Profits.” You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults.


 

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