Salespeople make hundreds and thousands of phone calls each week. Success, however, isn’t measured by how many phone calls are made. Rather, the success of those phone calls comes down to knowing how to reach the decision maker. The trick is that reaching the decision maker can be a difficult process. You might have done your homework and identified the ideal contact within the account to reach out to, but if a gatekeeper is preventing you from actually reaching the decision maker, you’re stuck. To have a successful sales career, you have to learn how to reach decision makers on the phone.
Reaching Decision Makers
Identifying the Decision Makers
Between caller ID, email filters, and assistants, it has become more difficult to reach decision makers on the phone. During your efforts to reach the decision maker you are likely to need to get through gatekeepers and influencers. It’s important that in addition to knowing who your decision maker is, you also identify the employees in these other roles.
The gatekeeper is usually an executive assistant or associate to the decision maker. There are a few strategies that you can employ to get around a gatekeeper, from calling after hours when you know their assistant isn’t there, to working with the gatekeeper. The assistant is likely aware of their boss’ pain points, and your solution might also benefit them. Sell to them as you would the decision maker, and ask their advice on the best way to approach their manager when it’s time. Having the gatekeeper as an ally could be beneficial when you approach the decision maker.
Influencers are traditionally junior-level employees who are asked to research options before the decision maker is briefed. While they don’t have budget or authority to make a final decision, they do have the power to influence the decision maker. The influencer is often your main point of contact at the company.
At the top is the decision maker. The decision maker is the one with the power to say yes and sign the check. While it’s ultimately the decision maker that you want to reach, knowing how to work with gatekeepers and influencers will help you get there.
Too many salespeople miss the mark when it comes to personalization during a phone call. Personalization is not trying to make a personal connection with the person on the other end of the phone call. Don’t start the conversation telling the decision maker you saw them on the news recently or read a recent article that they wrote.
Instead, the kind of personalization you need to focus on is showing them how you can fix a pain point for them through a product or service that you offer. Showing that you are aware of what their needs are and that you have a solution that will help them.
It’s vital to remember that your business doesn’t exist to make friends. It does exist because it solves problems and produces better results for specific individuals and companies. You need to know what the pain points are that your company can solve and be able to identify those pain points in potential prospects. Once you have identified a prospect’s pain point, you can craft the right message to pique their interest.
Think about it this way, when you get a decision maker on the phone you want to speak their language. Simply telling them what products and services you offer isn’t going to cut it. These are busy people, and they want to know what you can offer them. You want to quickly tell prospects how your product or service is going to help them.
Let’s start by doing away with the idea that there is a magic formula for outreach cadence that will work for every salesperson. That magic formula simply doesn’t exist. A prescribed order of phone call, voicemail, email, and social media connection cannot work for every person in every situation. The cadence that works for one salesperson will not necessarily work for another. Similarly, the cadence that works for one prospect is not guaranteed to work for another.
There is one truth, and that is that chasing the wrong target is always an expensive mistake. Instead of trying to perfect the perfect cadence you should be working on fine-tuning your sales prospect profile. Your business will not be right for everyone. If you are spending the majority of your time chasing prospects that aren’t a good fit you need to narrow your focus.
You should be able to look at a lead and quickly determine if they have the basic necessities to become a prospect worth pursuing. Some basic factors you might consider are industry, employee size, location, and title.
When you know who your audience is and you have the right messaging, you will be able to use your own experience to build a cadence that works for you. When you are confident with your messaging, you will find it easier to walk away from prospects that aren’t the right fit.
Narrow your focus on your top prospects and hone your message and soon you’ll start setting more appointments with those hard to reach decision makers. You can count on your personal Safeguard consultant for products, services, and advice that make marketing your business easier and more effective. See how we can tailor solutions specifically for your company, helping build a path to your success.