Almost every B2B salesperson worth their salt shares this one common goal: Get to the big guy or gal. We want to talk to the person who can say "yes" and sign a check. Trying to reach top executives can be like driving down a treacherous road that leads to a private resort. You risk facing challenges, detours, and dead ends, but the end result will be so rewarding.
Meeting directly with the decision maker will not only save you from wasting precious time and effort on middlemen, but will also give you a direct source for more insight that could lead to bigger investments and other opportunities within the business.
If you’re ready to start getting these high level appointments, you need two things: ACCESS and CREDIBILITY.
Access and credibility are the foundation that the rest of your success is built on, and both are equally important. Your access to the decision maker is often dictated by your credibility, but you can’t establish credibility without having some access in the first place.
Consider this, Apple definitely has enough money to buy whatever any of us are selling, and you can easily send Tim Cook an email if you want (firstname.lastname@example.org). But you probably can’t get an appointment with him, despite trying every trick it the book. That’s because you don’t have the access or credibility. If you had both, you’d be on your way to Cupertino now.
Access is pretty self explanatory. Do you have, or can you realistically get, access to a decision maker? Maybe you went to the same college, your kids go to the same school, or you’re both in the same local association. The best kind of access comes from a personal referral. If your college roommate is cycling buddies with Tim Cook, then my far-fetched scenario isn’t so far-fetched anymore. Just use common sense and ask yourself if you really think you have a shot at accessing the decision maker.
Credibility, on the other hand, can be a little more difficult to gauge because it’s drawn from your experience and abilities and answers the question “Why should anyone listen to anything I have to say?” One way to judge your credibility is to ask yourself this: If a prospect called all of your best clients and asked them to describe you, what would they say? Whatever you come up with will help give you confidence before you make your approach. It’s like an internal version of your best friends telling you how great you are before you go out on a date.
Once you’ve determined that you have the access and credibility needed to get an appointment, it’s time for you to make your move. My next post will share 7 tips that will help you reach a decision maker every time.
Do you have any other tips for getting through to decision makers? I’d love to hear it, Tweet me @InboundAlex.