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The Fast-Forward Sales Technique

How to Avoid Budget and Authority Surprises

The Fast-Forward Sales Technique

In the unpredictable world of sales, there’s nothing more frustrating than thinking you’ve got a solid deal in the bag, only to have the prospect backtrack the next day. It’s a common scenario – a prospect assures you they have the budget and authority to make the decision, only for the CEO to intervene with a “not right now” the following day. If this sounds all too familiar, it’s time to incorporate the “Fast-Forward Technique” into your sales strategy.

The Fast-Forward Sales Technique:

The crucial turning point in this scenario often occurs when the sales rep fails to employ what is known as “the Fast-Forward Technique.” This technique involves a strategic question aimed at uncovering the true decision-making dynamics within the prospect’s organization.

Let’s break it down:

1) The Decision-Making Authority Question:

Salesperson: “Mr. Prospect, other than yourself, who else needs to be involved in the decision-making process?”

Prospect: “It’s just me. I make the decision.”

At this point, many salespeople make the mistake of assuming they are speaking to the sole decision-maker and proceed without further investigation.

2) Implementing the Fast-Forward Technique:

Salesperson: “Great! Assume for a moment you end up liking what we have to offer, and let’s say you want to move forward with it… what happens next?”

  • Prospect Response 1: “We sign up” (DECISION MAKER!)
  • Prospect Response 2: “I’ll meet with my boss” (NOT THE SOLE DECISION MAKER!)

By running the Fast-Forward Technique, you instantly gain insight into the prospect’s decision-making process. If they confirm that they are the ultimate decision-maker, you can move forward confidently. If, however, they mention involving someone else, it’s a signal that further qualification is needed before progressing to the demo or presentation stage.


In the world of sales, assumptions can be costly. The Fast-Forward Technique serves as a powerful tool to navigate through uncertainties and ensure that you are engaging with the real decision-maker. By incorporating this approach into your sales process, you can avoid the all-too-common pitfall of being blindsided by unexpected changes in the prospect’s decision-making dynamics.

Remember, the key to successful sales lies in thorough qualification and understanding the intricacies of your prospect’s decision-making process. So, the next time you’re faced with a prospect who claims to have both budget and authority, don’t forget to fast-forward and uncover the hidden layers of decision-making within their organization. Mastering this technique could be the game-changer that elevates your sales strategy to new heights.

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