Finding out who the decision maker actually is, may be the most difficult hurdle initially, but once you do find out, it may be time to camp out so that you can get an appointment with them. I look at it like this, the harder it is for you to get in front of the decision maker, the better it’s going to be for you in the long run, because if it takes you a while to figure out who they are, and then to camp out to get in front of them, and you have persistence like no other sales reps do, ultimately you’re going to have a competitive advantage moving forward because standard sales reps will never get in front of them. Look at getting in front of a decision maker as a challenge, and make it fun in the process. Below are some steps that you can follow that will help you out.
Step 1: Identify a handful of strategic companies that you’d like to do business with.
What you’re looking for are high-profit opportunities. Stay away from government, city, and school contracts, as they’re typically very low-profit, involve a lot of little transactions, and are sometimes difficult to support due to the fact of how much they’re buying in bulk. Yes, big contracts are great, but if you’re not setup to support them, and you do win the bid, you may end up hurting your business a lot more.
Step 2: Target a specific department within one of the accounts that you’ve identified.
Start to do some digging to find out who does what, and who the ultimate decision maker is for that department. Companies have tons of different departments i.e. legal, marketing, purchasing, manufacturing, and etc., you want to focus on the department where your product or service will have the most impact, in the least amount of time.
Step 3: Camp out.
If it was easy to gather information on decision makers, everyone would be rich, but it’s not, so you need to do whatever you need to do to find the information you’re looking to find. I’m not able to say it much simpler than this. If you’re not willing to put the tough, behind the scenes work in, you’re not going to be successful. Some people call this the dirty work, but this is where the most progress is going to occur. When camping out, talk to as many people as you can i.e. building management, other tenants, search through your LinkedIn contacts, and use whatever methods available to find out what the deal is, and who makes the decisions. There’s a fine line between being creepy and being investigative, don’t be creepy!
Step 4: Once you have the information, do something with it.
You’ve already put the hard work in, and now it’s time to reap the rewards. There’s nothing worse than seeing sales reps do nothing with the information they’ve found. Keeping all the information in your head isn’t going to work either, so use some type of CRM to track and enter all your notes.
Step 5: Get in front to the decision maker.
The whole idea in doing all this previous hard work, is so that you’ll have your day to shine. Whatever you do, don’t waste time when you get in front of a decision maker, leave the fluff and nice fish on the wall type junk conversation at home. Get right down to the point i.e. what your product or service does, how it’s going to benefit them, and what it costs. Be short, keep it simple, and be ready to answer any questions that come up. If you don’t know the answer, don’t fake it, just say you’ll find out and follow back up with them right away.
There you have it. Some simple, but very effective steps that you can take to initially identify the decision maker, and then what to do once you get in front of them. You’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here, so just be yourself, and you’ll be fine.