Sometimes we become so task focused, we lose site of the bigger picture and what we could be doing.

We’re working a deal with a prospect. They’re spending time with us, we are learning their requirements, moving through the buying cycle. We’re caught up in the deal, in trying to move forward. And we forget something critical, we forget to ask, “Is there anyone else we should be talking to?”

We eventually win the deal, we thank the customer for their business, we’re happy to have won and move on. We forget to ask, “Is there anyone else we should be talking to you? Are there other people in your organization that may have the same issues? Are there people you know in other companies who may have the same issues?

We talk to a prospect, perhaps the right person, perhaps the wrong person, but before concluding the call, we forget to ask, “Is there anyone else we should be talking to?” Or “Who are the people we should be talking to?”

It’s a fundamental in selling, but too often overlooked. And it’s crippling.

In a deal, we need to understand who is involved, what their roles are and their “stake” in the decision. We need to understand their attitudes to us and the alternatives and a number of other things. But we fail to ask. Too often, we are comfortable dealing with our “friends and buddies.” Too often, we are time pressed, so we focus on just a few. We fail to identify the other people we should be talking to, missing a critical opportunity, threatening our ability to win a deal.

Or we’re prospecting, finding new opportunities. In our current accounts, with current prospects, or new companies. We target an individual. It may or may not be the right person. We may or may not be able to engage them in a buying activity. Whether it’s the right person or the wrong one. Whether they offer potential or not.

We always need to be asking, “Is there anyone else we should be talking to?”