When I first started my sales career, I was a virtual sponge. I was on a mission to learn as much as I could in the shortest possible time. I looked to the experts for guidance and took their advice as the gospel truth.
One of my hot prospects at the time was a growing construction firm. I was working with Tinsey, a very articulate woman who told me she was making the copier decision for her company.
Shortly after our first meeting, I read a book that said salespeople shouldn't waste their time on the underlings. Instead, they should work directly with the ultimate decision maker - the person who had the power to say "yes" or "no."
That was a real wake-up call for me. I didn't know that and had been calling at the wrong level. Tinsey was simply the administrative assistant to the CEO. Clearly I needed to take some corrective action - fast.