Identifying the Economic Buyer
I have bad news for you – the term and definition of Economic Buyer is only used in sales. You’ll never find a customer who refers to any stakeholder as an Economic Buyer, nor will they ever have a name for someone who follows the same definition.
This means you are all alone on finding out who they are and not only that but identifying them isn’t easy because sellers have a habit of either under qualifying or over qualifying who the Economic Buyer is. That is to say, they either believe someone who is too junior to be the Economic Buyer when that person says that they own the budget and overall decision-making process, or they over qualify and take the definition too seriously ending up with the CEO or someone almost as senior who is too far away from the decision making process.
Economic Buyer Qualifying Criteria, in brief
As the misunderstanding about the identity of the Economic Buyer is so common, you should look at a broader criteria such as:
- They have veto power to push the project forward or to stop it regardless of other stakeholders position such as your Champion/Counter Champion
- Their focus is in line with the strategic objectives of the organization. You are likely to be able to read about their role or initiatives in the annual report
- They have access to discretionary funds that aren’t budgeted
- They are likely to have profit and loss responsibility
- They will sign your contract, or be a part of the approval process leading to signature
Getting Engaged with the Economic Buyer
The success of your deal hinges highly on how well you are able to engage with the Economic Buyer. It is often not an easy process and requires skill, patience and perseverance.
Your Champion will play a critical role in your process of identifying and engaging with the Economic Buyer. If your Champion is unable to, or flatly refuses to introduce you to the Economic Buyer you should see this as a major red flag and risk in your deal. This is something you should look to solve asap.
Once Engaged with the Economic Buyer
This is potentially one of the most critical moments of your deal. Metaphorically speaking if you get this right you will have put yourself on pole position for the race ahead. If you get it wrong you’ll be starting in last place with a ton of catching up to do to have any chance of being at the front.
You need to impress upon the Economic Buyer that you are someone that can bring value to them. This starts with talking in their language.
Behave like a Consultant, not a Seller.
Andy Whyte – MEDDICC – The Book
This is easier said than done. The chances are you have been waiting for the opportunity to engage with the Economic Buyer for a while and you don’t want to miss your chance to talk about how great your solution is. Hold that urge! Be consultative, and don’t talk about your solution. Talk about the business objectives and outcomes they are trying to achieve.
A good method to win credibility quickly with an Economic Buyer is to reference other organization’s you have helped:
- What have you helped them solve?
- What results did they see?
- Which mutual connections do you have?
- Who can you introduce them to?
Economic Buyer and your Sales Process:
Your Economic Buyer’s questions about to you will adapt as your sales process evolves.
- Early-Stage: They will want to know – How much will you help them? Do they believe you?
- Mid-Stage: How does your value compare to others?
- Late-Stage: Have you proven the value by references?
Economic Buyer after you’ve won the deal
Once your deal is closed the Economic Buyer is unlikely to have any further hands on activity with your solution.
Elite Sellers know that keeping the Economic Buyer informed on the progress of the implementation of the solution will reap rewards later on for the seller for when they want to re-engage in a renewal or upsell conversation. Not forgetting the likelihood that the Economic Buyer could become an invaluable reference for your future deals if you deliver upon your promises to them.
Summary of Economic Buyer
The Economic Buyer can say “No” when other people say “Yes” and “Yes when other people say “No”.
Engagement with the Economic Buyer is important but equally as important is how we engage with them
This page is a super-condensed and re-written adaptation of the full insight given into the Economic Buyer and how to work with them in your MEDDPICC / MEDDICC / MEDDIC Framework that is detailed within MEDDICC – The Book.
‘MEDDICC – The Book’ Sneak Peak!
The Economic Buyer is covered in ‘MEDDICC – The Book’ in great detail. There are sections on:
- How to Identify who the Economic Buyer is
- Why under qualifying the Economic Buyer is a common mistake and how to avoid it
- How to avoid the pitfalls of over qualifying the Economic Buyer
- What the qualifying criteria of an Economic Buyer are
- How to become engaged with the Economic Buyer
- How to work with your Champion and the Economic Buyer
- What to do if your Champion won’t introduce you to the Economic Buyer
- Strategies you can use to engage directly with the Economic Buyer
- How to engage your senior executives with the Economic Buyer
- How to make sure you are always prepared to talk the language of the Economic Buyer
- What to do once you are engaged with the Economic Buyer
- How to get the Economic Buyer to see you as a trusted advisor
- How to get the Economic Buyer to sponsor your project and engage other stakeholders
- How Economic Buyer’s make decisions – The Three C’s: Cost, Competition, and, Confidence
- How to use your Go Live Plan with the Economic Buyer
- How to get the Economic Buyer to help you with Procurement
- How to work with the Economic Buyer throughout your sales process
- Complete with examples, tips and hacks throughout.