Key Decision-Maker – This person is the one to whom the others usually defer. He/she is the one who can say "Yes!" while the others in the process can usually say "No". The key decision-maker usually controls the budget or the functional area for your proposal.

Gatekeeper – Often a secretary or special assistant. This person monitors access to the key decision-maker and is not usually part of the selection process.

Veto Voter – This person often has a reason to prefer another firm or provider, and will not vote to hire you, no matter how perfect your credentials and price. He/she may influence the others involved in the process not to accept your proposal. The best you can hope to do is to neutralize their potential reasons to turn you down.

Influencer – Often a long-time friend or associate of the primary decision-maker. This person may have the ear of the real boss and can tip the scales in favor of one bidder from among those equally qualified.

Evaluator – The contact you know best often plays this role. They review and weight the various proposals against the selection criteria and make recommendations for who makes the short list. May or may not be part of the final selection process.

Advocate – This is often a person friend, close business contact, or someone with a sound, friendly relationship with you. This person is your ally and will speak out in your behalf and argue your case when the decision-makers meet behind closed doors. Arm this person with all the facts they need to argue your messages for you.