Target your sales activity to get in front of the MAN
OK I am a sales professional, not a dating expert. Far from it! However I know that MAN hunting is the one sport in selling successfully that you need to master to win big sales.
It is well known that the higher up in an organisation you target, then the more likely you are to win the business. This is usually the case, but not always. In nearly four decades of sales experience, I have found that it is very important to qualify who the right person is that will give me the order. It’s not always the CEO, so if you get it wrong…. you could waste a lot of time and therefore money.
Who is the MAN?
I like to use the acronym MAN to help me qualify who it is I need to hunt down, but what does it stand for?
Money – Have they got it to spend?
Authority – Can they place the order?
Need – Could my product or service solve their problem?
For the many years in my career I sold products or services where it was very clear who the MAN was. At DHL the majority of my clients were typically transport or shipping managers. They held the budget with the authority to change suppliers, as well as the need to get the goods out the door in a timely fashion.
Identifying the MAN
This methodology becomes more complex when it is difficult to find anyone in the business who clearly ticks all three boxes. Identifying the MAN is particularly tough when selling to the Public Sector.
A great example of this is when I sold operational software to UK Police Forces. At first the most logical candidate to be the MAN is the Chief Constable. However despite holding overall budget responsibility he is so high up the ladder, heavily ensconced in the politics of policing that he probably doesn’t know, or fully understand the current need at grass roots level.
At the other extreme we have the bobby on the beat who’d love new technology to catch the bad guys, but he or she doesn’t have the money and certainly not the authority to spend it. Usually in a Police Force it is the Head of ICT holding the budget for buying software, but that individual might not fully understand the impact to either the bobby or the Chief.
'Never assume you know who makes the decisions. If you aren't sure, then simply ask' - Susan MarotClick To Tweet
So who exactly is the MAN ?
Well all of them to a greater or lesser extent. The key is to put them into a further set of simple categories.
Decision maker – The Chief as he signs the order
Influencer – The Head of ICT who would advise the Chief based on what the bobby says
User – The bobby on the beat as he has the need, but no money and no authority.
Once categorized, the sales person can then set different objectives for each group in order to achieve a win win scenario for everyone.
Why MAN hunting is essential to win big sales
Consistently successful sales people get in front of clients who can make their goals happen by communicating effectively the benefits of doing business with them. Finding and qualifying who is the MAN has got to be high on your agenda.
So get out there and start hunting down your MAN. Hit the right target and you are more than halfway there to winning the business, and winning it at a healthy profit!
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