Are you a Decision-Maker?

When you think about the attributes of a decision-maker (DM), would you consider yourself one?  When you consider yourself a decision-maker, you understand your expectations and obligations and you see the same in others – namely your prospects.  Let’s take a look at what makes up a decision-maker.

A decision-maker…

1)      Has a goal.  What is your goal when calling on a prospect?  Is it to make an appointment, gather information, uncover their motivation, or determine if they are qualified or not, to continue to the next step?  DM’s have an objective with every step.  If your prospect is a DM, they have an objective, too.  Including your goal and objective at the beginning of your call will set the tone of the conversation and show your prospect you are a DM.

2)      Maintains a process.  What process are you going to follow to insure an efficient and effective meeting?  And duplicate it, so you can predict and plan future outcomes.  The prospects buying criteria and your selling process need to be aligned in order to achieve maximum results.  As a salesperson, you are in the information gathering business.  What information do you need to have before you offer a solution? What objections do you often hear?  Can you address them before they ever come up?  Yes.  I often hear about salespeople fighting their prospect on price after the solution is presented.  I ask them, “Why didn’t you talk about price before the proposal was made?”  The belief ‘that it is not polite to talk about money’ needs to expire.  That is a childhood message.  Money and budget are a factor in the sale.  No money – no sale.  It’s that simple.

3)      Begins with the end in mind (from Covey).  What predetermined outcomes of each step are accepted by both parties?  Will there may be a YES, we will continue the conversation with the next step in the sales process; a NO, there is not a match and it’s over; a CLEAR FUTURE, another factor in the process needs be decided before we can continue; a LESSON, something you learned that you will continue or avoid in the future; or a REFERRAL, someone else your prospect can and will introduce you to later.  Notice the absences of a THINK IT OVER as an option.  DM’s are busy people and they want to make a decision (which is how they got their name).  There are no Think It Over’s.  Go for the No if you sense one coming on.

4)      Is committed.  Anything worth doing, is worth doing right, the first time.  As a salesperson you need to follow-up and follow-through.  If you don’t, you demonstrate a half-baked commitment.  And if you cannot commit to a small task, how can your prospect think you can commit to fulfilling their wants and needs. Learn commitment and apply it daily.

5)      Has accountability.  There are no excuses or blame because DM’s take responsibility for their actions.  Failure is a factor and that factor is feedback, not excuses.  DM’s are accountable to their annual goals and they know their success is up to them.  They understand what they can control and don’t worry about the things they can’t.  Focus is key; and staying focused on the target is essential.

In closing, decision-makers have a goal and know what they want, they know how to ask for it and they know what to accept and not accept from prospects and salespeople.  They are committed and accountable to themselves first, so others can count of them as well.

When you think of yourself as a decision-makers, you will feel empowered and in control of your future.  Success will come with its own rewards and you are worthy of your desired rewards.  And no one can take that away from you.  Enjoy the journey.


  1. Michael Cavitt says

    Gee Scott, you ask hard questions for a Monday on a Wednesday. Thanks for getting me a good start on the year.

  2. Anne Marie says

    Excellent Scott — love the direct, to-the-point approach. Fits me, although sometimes prospects in the Midwest are not as receptive to a direct, DM approach. May be a regional thing.


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