Director, Brett Bonser, explores the importance of a good valid business reason (VBR) – a term coined by global sales performance leader, Miller Heiman…

Getting time in someone’s diary is always going to be a challenge.  Even when the initiative ought to be a high priority for them – in ‘your eyes.’

I want to share a dialogue with you that’s occurred between one of’s US consultants and a User Buying Influence from a target prospect who, we feel, meets our ideal profile.

The background: The underlying concept is that vendors and their reseller partners rarely effectively plan together and, as a result, both parties fail to achieve optimum results. The stakeholders of the vendor and the reseller are then BOTH frustrated. We are somewhat road testing this principal, with a solution called Funnel Camp for the channel.

In this case, the vendor is Chuck (one of our US consultants), and the user buying influence is Mark.

Here’s how the situation played out:

Email from Chuck to Mark:


I hope your MBA plan was well received and you’re getting a bit more rest now that school is over. My new step-son graduated from Texas Tech, Magna Cum Laude in Business Administration and starts Law School there this Fall. Pretty cool.  When we last spoke about the channel marketing alignment program, you were eager to share information about the program with your boss because you saw obvious application and value for it at XYZ Printers. I’d like to set up a  web conference for sometime  in the next couple of weeks for that purpose.

What I suggest is a web conference with you, your boss, Brett Bonser from and me. Because Brett is in Australia, we’d need to set a time after 4pm (CDT) Mon-Thursday.

We can make the presentation as detailed as you feel is appropriate. Any thoughts on process or date selection?

Regards, Chuck

Interesting note,  how would you have responded?

Marks’s response:


Thank you for reaching out.  2 things…

  1. I leave tomorrow morning for vacation until 06/14. So the next couple of weeks do not work for me.
  2. We still need to sell the idea to my boss. I have a hard enough time getting a meeting on his calendar for things he personally requests. (Of course everybody is working more with less these days). Saying that, I would like to test his interest by showing him something first. I seriously doubt he would be interested in a webinar at this point.

Think it over and let’s touch base in late June when I am back in action.

Regards, Mark

This dialogue yet again reinforced the importance of having a valid business reason (VBR) each and every time you seek a meeting.  In this case, the user buyer (albeit low degree of influence) is unwilling to risk his personal credentials to get the meeting unless he first believes there is a strong VBR.

How might you craft such a statement?  I’m sure Chuck would value your help.

Remember, a Valid Business Reason (VBR):

  • States the purpose of setting an appointment
  • Lets the Buying Influence understand who you are and why you are there
  • Sets a common foundation enabling you to understand the Buying Influence’s Concept
  • Introduces your questioning sequence
  • Focuses the meeting and sets the scene—especially important if there are surprise visitors

A great VBR:

  • Impacts the Buying Influence’s concept
  • Sets the sales call as a high priority for the Buying Influence
  • Ties to the Buying Influence’s interest
  • States ‘What’s in it for me’ to the Buying Influence
  • Is clear, concise, and complete

And something for you to action right now:

  1. Think about an upcoming meeting with an important Buying Influence, perhaps a time poor Economic Buying Influence (EBI) – another term coined by Miller Heiman
  2. Write down the VBR for this meeting
  3. Call yourself on your mobile phone (have the mobile switched off so it goes to voice mail) and read out the VBR
  4. Listen to the recording
  5. Consider, would you accept the meeting if you were the EBI?