About seven months ago I had visited a business about to open. I was offering marketing services. The owner then told me she wanted to get her location up and running before making an investment into advertising.
I recently stepped foot into the restaurant with intentions to get lunch and check in with them. A conversation resulted again with the owner who was more receptive this time. She seemed excited about how things were going.
I knew this was a part of the process since I was aware others were involved with the business. From many years in business development it often takes more than one partner to finally get a ‘yes.’
The Next Layer
During that visit the ‘silent owner’ joined us. The owner briefed him of my visit. I then knew more work was ahead. I then started my process of getting to know this person better as well.
We talked more about their location, what was happening and some potential ideas. I could tell momentum was moving forward as slowly the ‘silent owner’ was gaining acceptance.
The Closing Meeting
What resulted next was several messages with the main owner. We had agreed on a follow up date. She explained her husband had some questions, and he wanted to be at the next meeting.
At the next meeting it was the wife who I first started the meeting with. In the back of my mind I knew the husband would be joining along with the ‘silent partner.’
Early in the conversation I asked the wife, owner, if this was something they wanted to do. I gained her signature.
Eventually the husband arrived. It was my first time to meet and talk. I started off conversation right away to show appreciation. This resulted in about a 20 to 30 minute conversation getting to know him.
Our conversation moved back to their business and about our marketing plan they were moving forward with. The ‘silent owner’ also arrived to the table and we caught up.
Not Blindsided this Time
If you have ever worked in B2B sales you have picked up that most likely these days it is anywhere to 3 to 5 people who are involved with the decision.
Nothing is worse than working an opportunity with mainly 1 person only to be eventually told they were not moving forward ( without ever meeting the others ).
This example regarding the wife and husband owners, and silent one, was a great way of getting to know everyone in closing the opportunity.
It took time gleaning information from everyone to learn what was important to all. Managing all the business stakeholders is possible in any situation. It takes focus, dedication and some creative steps to get all on board.