The Importance of Decision Makers

By November 23, 2010articles

The Point

  • Although obvious, decisions are never made unless the decision makers have decided.
  • It is your responsibility to understand this process and then engage with it to overcome their procrastination.

The Problem

  • If you do not take control, then procrastination takes place and deals can slip away.
  • Their decision-making process starts with YOU.
  • There are elementary mistakes that professionals make while dealing with decision makers;
  • pitching to the wrong people
  • allowing proposals to go cold, or not be effectively controlled

The Solution and Technique

  • Central to success is learning how to identify decision makers, their decision making process, and, crucially, how to get in front of them.
  • Use a three step rule along the lines of:
  • establish who the decision makers are (the decision making unit)
  • clarify their decision making process
  • ensure you pitch to ALL of them

Preparation – Establish who the decision makers are. How you ask who the decision makers are is a matter of style and circumstance. Much can be said for a direct approach:

“If you were to change accountants who, apart from yourself, would be involved in the decision?”


“I understand you are the HR Director. Would you mind telling me who else would be involved in the decision to use us?”

Preparation – engineer the first meeting so that you exit with a second meeting arranged. There is a simple but effective way to achieve this. At precisely the point when you sense you have captured their interest and enthusiasm, make them an offer which they can only accept: “So really it would be best if I created a draft proposal and went through that with you and your partners in the next couple of weeks – does that seem fair enough?”

You can then ask, at the end of the meeting, “When do you all get together to discuss these things?”