Sales Prospecting Secret #3

Ensuring you get through to genuine decision makers – the people who actually have the ability to give you the business – is critical to success when it comes to sales prospecting.

During my effective sales prospecting workshops there are a number of “truths” that we work through, together with a couple of exercises that help everyone in the room recognise who those people are.

So today, let’s talk about;

• How successful business development teams get themselves introduced to the people who actually need the things they’ve got to sell.

• The 3 groups of people you need to speak to – and why speaking to them in the wrong order (or not recognising them at all) will almost always end in failure.

• How to harness the power of the group who will happily present your proposal to the main decision makers – and do it with the kind of passion and determination that will make sure the project gets the green light – and why their endorsement is probably the most powerful testimonial of them all.

I call the 3 groups I’m referring to above; EAR, FEAR and CLEAR.

And it’s really important to understand this;

• If you spend too long with one group – you fail.

• If you see another group too early – you fail.

Let me explain;

EAR people are lovely.

They’ll listen to you, engage in your presentations and tell you what a great idea it would be to have your solution in the business.

But they have no authority or power.

They cannot give you the business – but they can get you in front of the people who need your solution and help – the people who will be the main drivers in getting your foot in the door, the group I call…

FEAR people are the ones with the problems that your solution will solve.

Once again, they have no real authority or power – but they have more than the EAR group – and better than that, you have the cure to what they’re suffering from.

I call them the FEAR people, because they’re the people who wake up at 3 in the morning in a cold sweat worrying about the problem that your product or service solves.

It is so important to them that the problem goes away, that they will happily champion your solution to everyone else in the business – but most importantly to the next group, which I call….

CLEAR people have all the authority and power – they sign the cheques, write the orders and say yes or no to a deal or new supplier.

But – and this is really important – they have no real recognition of the problem that you solve.

It doesn’t affect them in the way that it affects the FEAR group.

They don’t need to worry – because the FEAR people are being paid to worry for them.

Because of that fact, salespeople who go straight to the CLEAR (which often sounds like a great idea) are presenting to someone who feels no pain and pays someone else to sort out the problem – and so after the meeting you’ll usually hear something like;

“Thanks for your time, I’ll make sure someone gets in touch if we have a need for this!”


You talk to EAR people to find out what problems need solving and who the FEAR people are – and they give you the introduction.

You understand that FEAR people are waking up at 3 in the morning because they don’t have your solution – and you ask incredible consultative questions so that you can present their perfect solution to them in a proposal, which they pass to – and start selling to – the CLEAR group for you internally.

And when you eventually meet CLEAR, you have a number of loud and passionate cheerleaders within the business who are desperate to get you on board so that the dark clouds can part and they can get a bit of blue sky and sunshine back in their lives.

OK, let’s assume that you have mastered all the information so far in these first three articles.

You’ve plotted the course that you need to take, you have worked out who your perfect customers and prospects are – and now you’ve worked out who will listen, who will sign the cheque and who wakes up at 3 in the morning in a cold sweat and desperately needs your help.

Tomorrow, I’ll share with you how to put a together a simple prospecting campaign that will enable you to see exactly where you are up to – warm up customers so none of them are ever cold – and then pick up the phone, knowing that they’ll take your call and book that meeting.

To your success


Chris Murray

PS: If you missed any of this mini course so far – you can find it at the link below;

Sales Prospecting Secret #1

Sales Prospecting Secret #2