Beware: CC Lists are Getting Longer
Pretty much every salesperson knows that buying decisions are being made higher and wider, with more people involved in making and shaping the decision. This has many implications for salespeople including one to which we were alerted by a buyer recently.
‘Cc lists are getting longer and longer’ warned the manager-buyer in a multi-national corporation. He went on to explain; ‘When it comes to major purchases pretty-much everyone that is important gets a say. First there are those that must be involved in the buying process. Then there are those that don’t need to be involved, but for political, or other reasons are kept in the loop.’
The buyer was in no doubt that involving more people elongates the process, it makes the process more politics bound and indeed unpredictable. However, his words of advice for salespeople were highly practical – ‘be careful what you send by email, you never know who is going to get a copy of it – there could be as many as 6, 10, or even 20 people who may be subsequently added to the cc list.’
The implications for salespeople are important. Even if the buyer tells you that a document is not required and that a few points by email is sufficient, take care. The recipient may have all the context, background and understanding that is required to make only the briefest of correspondence necessary. However, those that subsequently receive a copy of the mail, may not.
This can be dangerous – all it takes is for one of those CC’d recipients to open the mail and to click reply with a question, or a query to impact on the pace of the sale.
So the advice of our buyer is good advice indeed. Before you hit the send button, ensure that what ever you are going to send is capable and indeed worthy of being read by anybody in the host organisation.
You must make sure that it raises no unnecessary questions, or objections. It must give an adequate context, setting out the purpose and the scope.