HOW TO REACH
DECISION MAKERS

PRESENTED BY
First, I would switch your short-term goal from pitching a sale to

Carol Roth
establishing a relationship. Purely transac...
You should never, ever contact a prospect to pitch a sale. It doesn’t work.

Jill Konrath
Sales is about helping companies...
Thanks for viewing!
Nice find! You're well on your way to becoming a sales machine.
Now be a friend and share this resourc...
Decision makers are busy people with their own goals and problems.

Liz Strauss
Getting to know their situation before you...
Through a referral or introduction, and don’t pitch a sale, create a

Bob Urichuck
relationship. The sale will follow.
Bob...
There are two ways to do this.1. Contact the decision maker and give

Julie Steelman
them something they want that will en...
First I would never pitch, it makes you sound like everyone else that

Harlan Goerger
wants something from you. As to cont...
First of all, I never “pitch a sale”. People always have their guard up on an

Kenneth Darryl
Brown

initial sales meeting...
First, “sales pitch” doesn’t sit well with me – it sounds as if you are trying

Elinor Stutz
to force something on another...
It’s relationship first, to understand your prospective client’s situation,

Lori Richardson
options, and needs. Building ...
Well, the whole idea of ‘pitch a sale’ bothers me. The first step in

Diane Helbig
contacting a decision maker is to reali...
The phone is still the best method but not in the way that you know it.

Sean McPheat
Many think that cold calling by shoo...
Well, the first thing is not to contact them to pitch a sale. Contact them to

Ian Brodie
do something useful for them – a...
Call them with important news or research that creates a sense of

Sue Watkins
urgency around a problem that you can solve...
Telephone prospecting (not “cold-calling” or “pitching”) is the most

Jacques Werth
effective way to find prospects who wa...
I like try these ways: Ask a current client if they know the person you are

Ken Thoreson
trying to meet and see if they w...
How to Reach Decision Makers
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How to Reach Decision Makers

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How to contact decision makers: Experts weigh in

It doesn’t matter how great a product or service your small business offers if you cannot get it in front of a decision maker. By pitching to the wrong person you decrease your likelihood of making the sale. So what is the best way to contact a decision maker?

To help you sort through it all, we’ve reached out to a panel of sales and small business experts and asked them all a single question: “What is the best way to contact a decision maker to pitch a sale?”

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How to Reach Decision Makers

  1. 1. HOW TO REACH DECISION MAKERS PRESENTED BY
  2. 2. First, I would switch your short-term goal from pitching a sale to Carol Roth establishing a relationship. Purely transactional business is a bit passé. Carol Roth is a business strategist, deal maker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She has helped her clients, ranging from solopreneurs to multinational corporations, raise more than $1 billion in capital, complete more than $750 million worth of M&A transactions, secure high-profile To initiate that relationship with the decision maker, get introduced through a shared connection. It will lend credibility to help bridge that initial trust gap, plus move you to the “top of the pile” so the decision licensing and partnership deals and create million dollar brand maker gets back to you more promptly. You can check LinkedIn to see if loyalty programs. you have a relevant connection, or ask around in your professional, alumni, personal and social networks to find someone who can provide that critical introduction. 2
  3. 3. You should never, ever contact a prospect to pitch a sale. It doesn’t work. Jill Konrath Sales is about helping companies achieve their business objectives. To Jill Konrath is a recognized sales strategist, speaker and author who offers fresh strategies and practical advice for selling to today’s crazy-busy prospects. Both her books, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies are Top 20 sales books on Amazon. get on their calendar, send a series of emails/voicemails focused on the business outcomes they can get from using your product/service. Pique their curiosity by sharing the results similar customers have attained. And, show that you’ve done homework.All this in 25 seconds max (phone) or less than 90 words (email). 3
  4. 4. Thanks for viewing! Nice find! You're well on your way to becoming a sales machine. Now be a friend and share this resource with hundreds of your closest Internet pals.
  5. 5. Decision makers are busy people with their own goals and problems. Liz Strauss Getting to know their situation before you approach them is critical to Liz Strauss is a Brand Strategist, Community Builder, Founder of SOBCon. She blogs at LizStrauss.com and Successful-Blog.com having a context in which to listen. So rather than chasing after 500 decision makers choose five and get to know their business before you approach them. Meet someone who knows the decision maker to find out the venue in which person most likes to consider new sales offers. Turn your pitch into an invitation. Suggest a way that you might meet or talk for a limited time (15 minutes) to see how your offer can move the decision maker to his or her end goal (the one you’re already discovered.) Then listen. 4
  6. 6. Through a referral or introduction, and don’t pitch a sale, create a Bob Urichuck relationship. The sale will follow. Bob Urichuck is an International Professional Speaker, Trainer and Author of two best selling books “Up Your Bottom Line” and “Disciplined for Life: You are the Author of Your Future.” Bob has been recognized as Consummate Speaker of the year and ranked #7 in the World’s top 30 Sales Gurus. 5
  7. 7. There are two ways to do this.1. Contact the decision maker and give Julie Steelman them something they want that will enhance their business or provide a Julie Steelman’s former clients read like a Who’s Who of big-name corporate giants with Apple, Microsoft, Toyota, CBS, Sony Studios and Universal Pictures in her rolodex. She generated more than $100+ million in sales during her 30-year sales career. Julie is the author of The Effortless Yes! and is known as The Sales, Success & Bankability Mentor. 6 resource they can use. They will take your call!2. Make friends with their assistant (if they have one) and get them to put you on their calendar. Works like a charm!
  8. 8. First I would never pitch, it makes you sound like everyone else that Harlan Goerger wants something from you. As to contacting the decision maker, the best Harlan Goerger has spent the last 25 years leading hundreds of his client’s companies to expansive revenue growth. He is the author of “The Selling Gap” and “Bypassing NO in Business” and spent 20 years as a sales leader with Dale Carnegie Associates. is a personal introduction from a trusted connection. At an event, have someone who knows both of you introduce you. Yes, you need to attend functions where your clients hang out! Second best is a referral that knows the decision maker. No matter how the connection is made, do not pitch your stuff! I (decision maker) will walk away from you! Instead, research the needs of the client and ask a question about that need and their plan to address it. Yes, you now have my attention! 7
  9. 9. First of all, I never “pitch a sale”. People always have their guard up on an Kenneth Darryl Brown initial sales meeting. No one likes to be sold, but want to buy. My advice is that you must focus on your prospective client. We have a conversation (at least 2 conversations or more). We never “pitch” prospects. Our Kenneth Darryl Brown is President and CEO of eWeb 2 Sales and Profits, a sales, profit and business development company that approach might be different from some sales professionals. We listen, shows companies how to leverage the web to increase sales and listen and listen some more. We build rapport. We establish trust and improve profitability. Kenneth was selected as one of the Top 25 credibility. We focus on our best specific niche target. We promote our Influential Sales Leaders by InsideView this year. Last year, his show, “The Passionate Entrepreneur“ was picked as one of the best podcasts for small business by Anita Campbell’s Small Business Trends. Ken is called, “The Sales, Web and Profit Evangelist”. 8 uniqueness and prove to them that we can deliver profitable results.
  10. 10. First, “sales pitch” doesn’t sit well with me – it sounds as if you are trying Elinor Stutz to force something on another party. Instead, focus your approach on Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC authored the International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, Sourcebooks and the best selling career book, “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews”, Career Press. She provides team sales training, getting your foot in the door to build a relationship/friendship in order to qualify the business match. The first steps are to review the prospect’s website to find what’s important to the company and where you might private coaching and highly acclaimed inspirational keynotes for have areas of commonality. Next, read the business news daily and apply conferences. to the intended company, their competition and industry. By the time you call for an appointment, you should have enough familiarity to make a friendly introduction and ask for an appointment to become acquainted so that when a need develops down the road, they will be able to place a name with a face. 9
  11. 11. It’s relationship first, to understand your prospective client’s situation, Lori Richardson options, and needs. Building rapport and trust can happen through email, Veteran Sales Detective Lori Richardson sifts through sales clues and business practices to uncover hidden problems and assets, then delivers creative tactics with a fresh approach so you can Score More Sales. She is a sought after speaker, prolific blogger, sales trainer and multi-million dollar producer, and President of Score More Sales – a sales strategy firm. the phone, video chat or in person – the main thing is that you use a multi-facted strategy that works for their style of communicating. For example, if they are very visual, don’t always talk by phone or send text emails – offer them a graphical representation of their situation and ways to solve it. 10
  12. 12. Well, the whole idea of ‘pitch a sale’ bothers me. The first step in Diane Helbig contacting a decision maker is to realize that you are solving a problem. Diane Helbig is an internationally recognized business and leadership development coach, author, speaker, and radio show host. She is the author of Lemonade Stand Selling and founder of Seize This Day Coaching. Now that you’ve got that mindset do your research. The more you know about the company and the decision maker the easier it will be to reach out to them. Try to determine if they have a situation you can solve. If it seems there’s a real possibility that you may be able to help them, craft your message around that situation. Once you’ve done your homework, try to figure out how you are connected to the decision maker. Who can give you an introduction? This is why participating on social media, especially LinkedIn, is so important. You’d much rather get an introduction than cold call, wouldn’t you? If you have to cold call, decide whether an introductory letter or a phone call are best. Please don’t prospect via email. This is the hardest way to get in contact with a decision maker, in my opinion. If you do cold call, remember you are trying to gain an appointment. Respect their time, keep your message short and clear, and ask them if they’d like to meet to explore the possibilities. 11
  13. 13. The phone is still the best method but not in the way that you know it. Sean McPheat Many think that cold calling by shooting fish in the barrel and “working the Managing Director of MTD Sales Training, Sean McPheat is regarded as a thought leader on modern day selling. Sean has been featured on CNN, ITV, BBC, SKY, Forbes, Arena Magazine and has over 250 other media credits to his name. Sean’s latest book “eselling® – How to use the internet & social media for numbers” is the way to go but there is a more updated modern way. You should first develop relationships via the internet and social media and then you really have a valid reason for your call. Many gatekeepers will prospecting, personal branding, networking and for engaging the c- not let you through if its a pure cold call but if you said something like the suite decision maker” is a #1 Amazon bestseller. following then the chances are that you’ll get through “Oh, James and I have been discussing the latest widgets on LinkedIn and I thought it would be easier for me to call rather than type out a long winded answer” 12
  14. 14. Well, the first thing is not to contact them to pitch a sale. Contact them to Ian Brodie do something useful for them – add value in advance of doing business Ian Brodie helps consultants, coaches and other professionals to attract and win more clients. He writes the award winning More Clients blog, and recently released his Pain Free Marketing approach to getting more clients without the pain and expense of traditional marketing. with them. Contact them to figure out whether working together would be mutually beneficial. But don’t contact them to pitch at them. Yuck.In terms of the best way to contact, it depends on the person. For senior decision makers in larger companies, a personal referral or recommendation is always the most powerful. Ask around or better yet, use Linkedin to find out who you know who knows them. You’ll be surprised when you use Linkedin at how often you do have a common contact who’d be willing to introduce you. 13
  15. 15. Call them with important news or research that creates a sense of Sue Watkins urgency around a problem that you can solve.. Sue Watkins has spent the last 20+ years developing marketing strategies and campaigns. She also founded SMBmarketer.com and authors the blog Smart Marketing Basics () and tweets regularly about small business marketing topics at @SMB_marketer 14
  16. 16. Telephone prospecting (not “cold-calling” or “pitching”) is the most Jacques Werth effective way to find prospects who want to buy what you are selling. The Jacques Werth is President of High Probability Selling, Inc – a sales consulting and training company founded in 1989 . The company specializes in sales process improvement. They have trained salespeople, sales managers, consultants, and business owners in over 70 industries. 15 most important factor is to accept “No” for an answer, rather than try to change prospects’ minds. That way, you can contact 3 to 4 times more prospects including some who say “Yes.”
  17. 17. I like try these ways: Ask a current client if they know the person you are Ken Thoreson trying to meet and see if they will make an introduction for you. Check out Ken Thoreson, Acumen Management Group, Ltd. president, is a sales leadership professional who “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes to pull sales results out of thedoldrums into the fresh zone of predictable revenue. His blog,Your Sales Management Guru, has been rated in the top 10 sales blogs in the United States 16 LinkedIn and see if there are mutual relationships. Make a phone call before 7:30am, at noon, or after 5:30pm (many business owners work longer hours than normal hours.

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