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5 Ways to Know Your Buyer Is the Real Deal


The consultant spent hours driving between their home office and the buyer’s corporate office.

She did her research on the company, prepared documents and event an initial report to show her eagerness and enthusiasm to work with this buyer.

They care about value, ROI and results and your fee isn’t important as long as the value and return makes sense for them.

For 4 weeks she rode the rollercoaster: feeling excited by the prospect of landing this buyer as a client, and the stress of wondering if the email she just sent was off-the-mark and if her latest meeting could have gone better.

The consultant emailed the buyer as she hadn’t heard back in 10 days. The buyer responds a day later saying they need more time.

This is an all too common scenario consultant’s face.

It happens most often when you’ve failed to identify if you’re dealing with a real buyer.

Here are 5 ways to know your buyer is the real deal:

  1. They are the decision maker; they don’t need to get approval from anyone, because they have decision making authority at their organization.
  2. They don’t ask you about all the details of a project and what you will provide, they care far more about what the results will be and how it will impact their company.
  3. They see the work you’ll be doing together as a priority and will do whatever necessary to push it forward.
  4. They won’t ask you about cost right away. They care about value, ROI and results and your fee isn’t important as long as the value and return makes sense for them.
  5. They make decisions and move fast. They aren’t interested in simply gathering information and waiting. If it makes sense for them, they are going to want to meet with you again or even request for a proposal (if you’ve had enough time to talk with them about the project).

If it’s clear that the person you’re talking too doesn’t match the above criteria it’s likely they aren’t the real buyer you want to be speaking with. If that happens, find out as quickly as you can who is the right person to talk to that is involved in making the decision, and has control over the budget and company priorities.

This will save you immense time and relieve stress. You’ll now spend more time with real buyers to win more business.


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5 thoughts on “5 Ways to Know Your Buyer Is the Real Deal

  1. John Latham says:

    Great article, Michael; thanks. What’s the best way of determining #1? That is, that you are in fact talking with the decision maker? Some prospects often seem reticent to admit that they are (or are not) the DM…

    • John – all you need to do is ask them how decisions are made in their organization and what their role is. Glad you enjoyed the article.

  2. Jeff White says:

    John, ask leading questions of the person you’re dealing with;
    “When would you see this project moving forward?”
    “Who’s name should I put on the proposal?”
    and so on.

    Good article Michael!

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