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Stay in Control

Tips for managing that tricky relationship with a buying agency

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What do you do when the buying agency forbids you to contact The Boss?

Don't go into that battle without reinforcements. Be prepared with a thorough analysis of the buying agency's past purchases from you for The Boss' company and any others it may represent. What's the worst-case scenario? How much current business could you lose if the buying agency carries out its threat of no longer doing business with your company? How much future business? Some tough decisions will be made, and you need as much information as you can gather to make them.

If you decide to enter the battle, go all out. This is not the time to be tentative. Reinforce your relationship with other customers who do business through the buying agency by calling on them. Visit The Boss and ask him directly if he wants to be denied your ideas. Then go see the buying agency management and see if they're willing to soften their position.

If they won't relent, cut them out of the loop and deal directly with The Boss. You need to be strong when you're battling the forces of evil.

Excerpted from Creative Selling: Boost your B2B sales