Key Decision Maker assumptions,questions,tips.

How to increase the success rate of your decision making.

Key decision makers are a rare breed, rarely seen outside the confines of their immediate environment; they are creatures of habit and have exhaustive memories of what does and doesn’t work. Yet they are being threatened by rapidly changing sector demands. What used to work can no longer be relied upon to meet the requirements of an organisation struggling to retain sector share, increase profits, or just get a new product successfully off to market, whilst meeting shorter lead times with fewer heads – the world of 24/7 cyber interaction is stolen the time we used to give to face to face/voice to voice interaction.

Question: How do you source new ideas or at least refresh your old ideas?

When I held company positions that required key (often financial) decisions on people, products and process, I was reluctant to take calls from people I didn’t know – too busy doing the day stuff, didn’t want to hear the pitch, or go through the hassle of saying NO or the commitment of saying YES. It’s little wonder the success rate of securing an appointment with a key decision maker by phone is now as low as 1-2%. Similarly, emails or letters were easily binned- though I would file correspondence of potential interest, for future reference.

Assumption: If I didn’t respond to such approaches then, why expect others too, now.

At my desk, the last thing I had on my mind was attending networking events – no time, no inclination, no reason and those that looked remotely interesting I’d delegate to a member of my team. In 20+ years as a key decision maker I probably attended a handful of networking events.

Assumption: Key decision makers do not attend networking events.

In a commoditised world where products and services can and are copied in weeks, it’s increasingly important to be able to differentiate yourself, if you are going to make money and save money in the process of growing your business.

Question: If the key differentiator in doing business today is about the people you know, like and trust. How do you meet these people?

I’d just finished a speaking engagement and was approached by a business acquaintance of some 8 years; “let’s get together for a coffee, I have something you might be interested in, give my secretary a call to get a date in the diary” – 2 months later I finally sat in front of him. On the way out, I asked him why it had taken him so long to contact me, after all he knew me and knew what I could do for him and his business. It was a blindingly obvious answer “I haven’t needed you until now.”

Assumption: It’s all about timing.

Question: Relationships we value are generally the ones we’ve invested in. How much time do you commit to developing new relationships?

Tips for Success:

  1. Avoid doing the same old same old and becoming stale.
  2. Develop your outside in thinking by getting out.
  3. Invest in yourself and others through new relationships.

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got and given the pace of change today, there’s every chance you’ll get less than you last got!

Since 2013 I have been helping ambitious SMEs with their Strategic and Leadership challenges.

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Posted in Business Growth, Decision Making, Engagement
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