So- you can’t just send an inquiry to their general support team, as it will likely be dismissed as spam. Instead, you need to contact the real decision makers, getting by what we will refer to as ‘gatekeepers’ – the people employed to stop decision makers having their time wasted! Often, these people will be overly officious and make it hard for you to get through to the people that matter. That’s their job, after all.
To avoid that, we’re going to help you identify the decision maker to cut out the middleman. Plus, we’re going to help you better understand what the different grades of sales prospects are, and how to improve targeting. After all, the more time you can spend contacting the right person, the more time you can spend making sales and boosting profit margins!
Finding the Right Person
There is absolutely no benefit contacting the wrong person. If you try to send your marketing campaign to the sales arm, they’ll ignore it. Send it to the wrong member of staff, and they’ll likely not forward it on. Your best chance of success is to hurdle over these people who are in your way and find out who actually holds the reins.
Who makes the decisions in the business that you’d like to do business with? It’s vital that you work this out as soon as possible. As a sales rep, it’s your job to make not only the right pitch, but make the right pitch to the right person. The reasoning is simple: speaking to the right people ensures that you are more likely to land the deal. So, you want to be trying to target those higher up in the marketing, sales and corporate arm of the business. This means avoiding standard, easily found methods of contact and digging a little deeper. If you can find the right person to ask, then you vastly increase your chances of being hard.
Typically, you would be looking for someone with a title like Department Head, Office Manager, Company Owner or Purchasing Lead. The names change per company, but it’s not likely to be someone who has a title like Support Agent or Sales Representative. Do some digging via tools like LinkedIn etc. to find the real people who can make decisions. You also then need to work on how you contact them and how you try to put your message across. For example, phoning the owner on his/her mobile phone without at least establishing contact first might be too forward.
How To Sell: 101
Your aim is to find out if they are in need of what you sell, if they have a general interest in what you are looking for, and if the timing is right. Asking a lower-end staff member about this will get you nowhere. Even if they are interested, budgetary issues, cash flow problems and present service contracts may prevent them from saying yes.
At the same time, find out time-related issues. How soon could they buy? If you could show them proof of the benefits of your product/service, could they buy now? Or are they still prospecting? Basically, you shouldn’t just go for the jugular once you are talking to the main player. Contact them personally, and get to know how ready they are to buy.
Listen to them talk about the pros and cons of what they use at present. Find out what they like about the current service, and try to build up the positives of your solution as building on or bettering what they currently have. Let them come to the conclusion that they need what you offer, rather than forcing it on them!
Always Be Yourself (Just Like Dating!)
Keep all of this in mind, but also keep one other key factor in mind: honesty. Honesty is your most powerful tool. Make it clear why you have gone above and beyond to contact them personally, and be honest about what you actually bring to the table. Don’t go on and on about how your service can save your lead 99% of their expenses, or triple their revenue, or make complex processes impossibly simple. Even if you’re just bending the truth rather than breaking it, you’d be better off being honest.
If they appear to have no real need for your product or are entirely happy with what they have at present, leave the forceful over-selling for your competition. It’s much more authentic and respectable to say “Alright, you seem to have all you need for now” and bid them good day! Next time they are looking for an upgrade, they’ll remember your genuine response.
So, keep this in mind and you should see that it becomes easier and easier to identify and convert leads. Get access to the key players and decision makers. Then, you need to sell to them honestly whilst actually listening to what they have to say. Do this, and you will be much more likely to successfully earn sales, plus avoid burning bridges with companies before you even introduce yourself.