Sloping shoulders and Teflon underpants

To sell consultancy successfully you must find prospects with buying authority. In large organisations plenty of people claim they have this authority … but in reality only a few do. Generally the people you’ll meet are influential technical recommenders, not decision makers. So, the most important question you need answered is “who writes, or authorises, the cheques for this project?”

Technical recommenders usually want detail and are risk averse. By contrast those with authority always want to know about impact and value. So, be sure to trade information and assurances for access to those who control the economic decisions.

The more access you get, the more you’ll notice that decision makers don’t have sloping shoulders, or wear Teflon underpants. They take responsibility for their actions. They take risks and make things happen. You don’t play the blame game, or defer to others. When things go well they give their team the praise. When things go wrong they accept responsibility and put things right.

These are behaviours to look for as you qualify your involvement in a project. Try asking prospects for commitment to small actions they can be held accountable for. See what reaction you get. Sloping shoulders, Teflon underpants, or decisive action.

Let me know.