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#276: Building the Economic Buyer From Within

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Monday, April 05, 2010
Updated: Monday, April 05, 2010
In developing new business it is often hard to reach the true economic buyer. The gatekeepers are pretty good at keeping consultants at bay. Do you have any advice on how to connect with economic buyers?

Connecting with an economic buyer is more than just identifying who it is and getting past gatekeepers a meeting with them. Focusing on just getting past gatekeepers misses an opportunity to make sure the meeting itself produces the results we want.

Know as much as you can about the company. Develop a cadre of inside resources likely connected to the economic buyer. Get to know personnel in HR, research, legal counsel, marketing, and other departments related to areas of activity in which you'd like to work.

Tip: Get to know them, find out about their work, and learn about the needs of the company. Once you have done this, let them specifically know about your desire to meet with the economic buyer. Describe your intended services, confirm that the person you think is the economic buyer is indeed the right person, and ask their advice on how to make that contact. This will give you a robust view of how best to describe and present your services to the buyer. It also pays dividends later by having a ready made groups of allies who can help you best serve the client organization.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  client development  consulting process  customer understanding  market research  marketing 

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Kathy Maixner says...
Posted Tuesday, April 06, 2010
My comment on this process is that the “Gatekeeper” really isn’t a “keeper of the gate” at all. As long as consultants view this individual as someone to “get around” or “get past”, the game is over. Treat the gatekeeper for what he or she truly is: An initial contact. Engage their help. What would they do if they were you? Why not ask??? People we initially meet can either be impressed or repelled by consultants, usually depending on the consultant. Be sure to focus on not what you need, but what you could LEARN. Therein lies the basis for all good relationships: Understand before suggesting anything. What a concept!!!
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