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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  March 17, 2016

How to Get Ancillary Support and Win the Deal

3 ways to allay ancillary buyers’ fears

We’re often told to pay utmost attention to the buyer. But later in the sales cycle, sometimes an ancillary buyer pops up and sabotages the deal. In micro businesses, it’s usually the spouse. In small and medium-sized businesses, it’s the chief lieutenants. Here’s how to allay their fears and get their support:

1. Value their perspective. Many ancillary buyers have a great “on the frontlines” point of view. Their focus on implementation will make sure you are a success. So, give their concerns the respect they are due. And besides, ignoring them won’t make these folks go away. If the buyer pays attention to them, you have to give them a fair hearing.


Related: Two Buyers Who Will Hear Your Pitch — and the One Who Won’t


2. Acknowledge their role. These folks often assume that an outsider comes in to criticize. Don’t be that person. Instead, tell ancillary buyers what they did right. (If the situation is a train wreck, you can empathize with their plight.) The more that people feel understood, the more willing they are to accept outside help.

3. Give them first-hand information (with witnesses). Before closing the deal, invite them to join the conversation. Answer their questions, but always with the buyer in attendance. (That is so they can’t spin the meeting.) If someone is unwilling to talk to you, see the next point below.

Finally: be willing to walk away. If the ancillary buyer’s support is crucial and they will be an impediment, rest assured you will be blamed for any obstacle. Consider this a dodged bullet, and get outta there.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.