Paul shares three tips on how to more effectively reach out to high-level decisions makers (HLDMs).
Are you willing to make the commitment to contact the HLDM?
HLDMs put their pants on one leg at a time—just like you.
“Have the confidence to reach out to these HLDMs.”
“The most effective way to reach out to a high-level decision maker is to ….”
Do you know the #1 reason why HLDMs are willing to meet with you?
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What is the best way to initiate contact with high-level decision makers?
(Transcribed from podcast)
On today’s show, we’re going to talk about initiating contact with a high-level decision maker. This came from a recent virtual training where I was working with a group of industrial type of salespeople, and the salesperson was struggling to initiate contact. They weren’t sure how to reach out to their high-level decision maker, what the best way was, so that’s what we’re going to focus on today’s show. That’s the question we’re going to answer.
Before we get into that, a quick shout-out to Andrea over at The Creative Impostor Studios. You know, a new year is just around the corner, and I know many of you probably have some goals for the next year. If starting a podcast is one of your goals, then reach out to Andrea and her team. They do a wonderful job. They can help you launch the podcast, edit the podcast, just be a sounding board for ideas. So, make sure you reach out to Andrea and her team. We’re going to have a link to her website on this episode’s webpage. So check it out.
Also, for the new year, pick up your copy of Value-Added Selling. Start your year off right. Make it a commitment for this to be your best sales year ever. That begins with the right training; it begins with the right content, having that in front of you. So, pick up your copy of the book. It’s available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, wherever you get your books.
Let’s get back to that question. What is the best way to initiate contact with a high-level decision maker? Now, a little background on this whole question; this idea of reaching out to high-level decision makers—our research shows that most of your sales peers out there are not calling at this level within their opportunity. They’re not getting up to that high-level decision maker. In fact, 90 percent of salespeople do not make it to this level. To me, I find that to be shocking, that salespeople wouldn’t want to reach out or contact that high-level decision maker. But, our follow-up research shows that most salespeople don’t know how to sell at this level. They don’t know to have that conversation. They don’t know how to initiate contact. So, on today’s episode, we’re going to give you a few tips, a few ideas.
As you reach out to high-level decision makers, though, please keep in mind that they are just like you. They put their pants on one leg at a time. I know sometimes there’s a fear that they are, that they’re hard to deal with, that they’re too demanding, that they’re not going to be willing to meet with salespeople. Nothing could be further from the truth. So, have the confidence to reach out to these high-level decision makers. And, use some of these tips that we’re going to talk about today.
On today’s episode, I’m going to give you three tips when reaching out to a high-level decision maker. The first tip is to use a referral. The number-one way—the number-one way to get a meeting with a high-level decision maker is to use a referral. If someone they know and trust will recommend you or introduce you to them, that is going to significantly increase the likelihood that they will meet with you. So, you want to make sure that you’re using a referral.
Now, when you ask for someone to refer you to that high-level decision maker, you need to be crystal clear on why you’re wanting to meet with them. What are the outcomes that they’re going to gain (meaning the high-level decision maker)? You also want to ask the person referring you if they will do the introduction. Whether it be via email, whether it’s quick phone call, whatever it might be, you want that person to connect you with that high-level decision maker. Make sure you reach out through a referral. That’s going to be the most effective way to get in to see that high-level decision maker.
Number two: when initiating contact with a high-level decision maker, reference a business problem that they are experiencing. In our research on— this is just a couple of years ago we did a survey to get a better understanding of how buyers make decisions. And one of the questions we asked was: Why would you be willing to meet with a salesperson? And here’s what high-level decision makers said: I would meet with a salesperson because it appears this salesperson can help me solve a business problem that I am experiencing. That’s the number-one reason why they’re willing to meet with you as a salesperson. So, before you initiate contact with that high-level decision maker, spend some time thinking about their business, their industry, and ask yourself: Okay, what, potential problems are they experiencing? How can I help them solve this problem?
And when you’re initiating contact, you want to reference that business problem within the first sentence or two of your correspondence. Whether that’s an email, whether it’s a voicemail, whether it’s a letter that you sent, you want to reference that business problem that they could be experiencing. First of all, this grabs their attention. But, when you can diagnose a problem, people also are going to assume that you can help solve that problem. So it’s more likely to help you get in there and meet with that high-level decision maker.
The third thing—the final tip for today’s session: when you’re trying to initiate contact with a high-level decision maker, you have to build familiarity before you make that request, before you request a meeting. Remember that this high-level decision maker is a busy person. They’re getting bombarded with messages throughout the day, with emails, voicemails, requests for their time. You have to stand out. You have to be different, and you also have to be familiar to them. So, if you’ve never met with this high-level decision maker, you should expect them not to return your call; you should expect them not to return that email until they, at least, become familiar with you.
Now, there are several ways we can build that familiarity. Number one: consistent follow-up where you’re giving the buyer your name, your company name, and you’re also delivering a little bit of value with each message. Also, you can connect through LinkedIn. That’s, one of the easiest ways to build familiarity. Reach out to those high-level decision-makers and connect with them. Comment on their posts, share some of their content. You want that high-level decision maker to see your name and your company name. The more they see your name, the more familiar they become. And when you build that familiarity, eventually, that will lead to them opening up the door to sit down and meet with them. So, build that familiarity.
You can also do this, obviously, through leaving voicemails, sending your emails. You can also send an anti-freeze sales letter. An anti-free sales letter, it helps take the chill off of the cold call. And with this letter, your only objective is really to familiarize the buyer with your solution, with you as the salesperson. It builds familiarity. So send your customer a letter. Put it on your letterhead so they can see your logo, so they can see your name. And, in that letter, you simply want to introduce yourself. You want to, maybe, talk a little bit about what you could potentially do for that customer. But also, make sure you diagnose a problem that they could be having. As I mentioned earlier, identifying that problem will help open up some doors. So that’s another tool that you can use to help build that familiarity.
Make it a big.