Getting To The Decision Maker

I apologize it has been so long since I have posted anything.     I wanted to get back to posting regularly some valuable information that will help you sell more business.

One of the things I have been coaching a lot of sales people on lately is how to get to the decision maker.  This seems to be a challenge for a lot of folks.

First let’s define decision maker.  In a sales campaign, the decision maker is the person who can give the final approval to purchase your product or service.  This person does not have to ask anyone’s permission to release the funds or to go forward with the purchase.  This person could put a plaque on their desk that says “the buck stops here” and it would be true.  What happens in a lot of sales situations is the salesperson has a difficult time getting to the decision maker.

Here are a few suggestions on how to get to the decision maker:

  1. Find out what business functions the decision maker attends.  This could be association meetings, industry meetings, charity events, etc.  Once you find out what events the decision maker attends, you attend the event with the specific purpose to meet the decision maker.  When you meet the decision maker have a topic to discuss with them that you know will be of value to them.  Then let them know you are talking with their company and would it be possible to run some ideas that you consider to be beneficial to the success of the company.  You have to keep in mind that the decision maker is probably not interested in how your product or service works; but is more interested in the impact it will have on  the company.  Make sure you tailor your conversation to the level of the decision maker.
  2. Invite the decision maker to an event.   This is a great technique.  You could send a formal invitation or do it by phone.  Regardless of whether the decision maker attends or not, you have established creditability as someone who has their best interest in mind.  Make sure the event is relevant to the decision maker.
  3. If your decision maker is out of town, send them some information that would be of value to them.  This could be a news article that is relevant the decision maker.  Be sure to write a handwritten note on the article that say something similar to: “I thought you might find this interesting because of what you are doing with……”  The key is to relate the article to something that either the decision maker or the company is working on or a challenge they are facing.
  4. Keep in mind your aim is to meet with the decision maker.  Always demonstrate that a conversation with you will be valuable and not a waste of time.  Don’t just say I would like to meet with you.  The decision maker has enough meetings to attend.  Demonstrate that a meeting with you will solve some problem, advance some initiative, generate new ideas, etc.

In trying to meet with the decision maker be creative.   The key is to help the decision maker see the value a meeting with you would bring.