There are many people we deal with throughout the sales process that position themselves as the decision maker when they really aren’t. ideally, what I’d like to do is flat out ask – are you the decision maker? But sometimes that turns people off or gets them to be defensive if they really aren’t. so, instead of asking the person I’m dealing with directly I sometimes test for power throughout the process. For example, a nice test for power for me is an NDA. The reason is that NDAs are basically worthless and people above the powerline or decision makers know this, people below the power line or non-decision makers don’t. so, at a certain stage of the sales process when they ask for something like a customized demo or something I ask for an NDA. Their response gives me some insight into whether or not they are really the decision maker. Decision makers and people above the power line usually have no problem with signing it. people below the power line and non-decision makers usually can’t sign it and make a bigger deal of it. I test for power in other ways throughout the sales process by asking them to do things only executives or real decision makers can do or have access to. By consciously testing along the way you can identify the real non-decision makers sooner and adjust your strategy along the way. make it happen.