Are you frustrated by your lack of progress reaching high-powered decision makers?
If your business lives by the answers of those few in high places, you can’t afford to have your cold calls and emails go unnoticed.
Most salespeople won’t switch up their tactics if they figure out what works for them — even if they can improve their bottom line by implementing newer strategies.
So if you’re planning to sweet talk every receptionist, executive assistant, or gatekeeper on your way to a decision maker, you may want to quit before you waste time you don’t have.
Today you’ll learn five proven tips to help you reach more decision makers in less time.
And the first one may be something you haven’t considered yet.
#1. Encourage Decision Makers To Come to You
Does your company website sell your product or service for you? Is your LinkedIn profile optimized for decision makers to reach out to you?
When you build out your brand, whether as a solo salesperson or as a company, you attract more higher ups.
Since decision makers research and vet all their options, they’ll most likely start their buying process by browsing your website, LinkedIn profile, and social media platforms.
And if your pages aren’t outstanding, you’re doing your sales process a huge disservice. Stats now tell us:
- Four in 10 salespeople close two to five deals thanks to social media alone.
- Social selling is responsible for 50% of revenue in specific industries like healthcare, computer software and network security, information services, logistics, and many more.
With the right image and information presented to decision makers, they can learn about your offerings on their own time leaving you to do only half as much legwork convincing them later on.
Your network of friends and professional contacts can also help here.
#2. Leverage Your Network
Referrals for your business generate higher close rates (usually above the 50% mark) and take much less time to happen on average.
That’s because 92% of buyers say they trust referrals from people they know.
And an admitted 84% of buyers begin their buying process based on a referral.
Decision makers, and especially B2B buyers, are 5x more likely to engage with you or your company if they’ve been introduced by someone they know first.
And 73% of executives prefer working with reps and companies someone in their network has referred them to.
So before reaching out to your next decision maker, check your LinkedIn, contact database, social media networks, or anyone else in your sphere of influence to find people who may be able to personally introduce you first.
Your professional contacts may not be the only voices decision makers listen to. Testimonials from your existing client base also speak volumes.
#3. Prioritize Testimonials Over Conversions
Are you only focusing on converting leads to customers?
What about using the customers you already have to sell to those high-powered decision makers who may be on the fence?
When a decision maker sees glowing reviews and testimonials from your satisfied clients, they’ll be more inclined to give you their time and see what you’re all about.
In fact, more than 50% of buyers will consult a third-party source before they reach out to your company.
That means feedback on third-party review sites and your social channels, along with client testimonials on your website, have serious swaying power.
Here’s the kicker: most salespeople don’t take advantage of their customer base.
A recent study showed 83% of customers would gladly provide a referral if only salespeople would ask for one. Subsequently, just 29% of those customers actually gave a testimonial.
Since peer recommendations account for nine in 10 buying decisions, it’s in your best interest to let your customers show your decision maker why they should connect with you or your company.
Another mistake salespeople make is using the wrong terms to start a conversation with a decision maker.
#4. Highlight the Right Benefits and Future Potential
High-powered decision makers don’t have a lot of time. Instead of telling them why your product and service is so wonderful, show them exactly what using it will deliver for their company.
Intel shows you have a 74% chance of closing a deal with a decision maker if you’re the first person or company to create a viable future vision for them.
All it takes is researching the company pain points plaguing your prospective decision maker and showing how they’ll improve or be better off with your help — with specifics!
Don’t forget that research shows top performing salespeople use collaborative words and phrases better than underperforming ones[*].
So instead of using words such as “I”, “me”, or “my” to describe your product or services, think about swapping them for words that convey you’re part of the team and want the company to succeed, such as:
You’ll also want to use words that give your decision maker confidence in your future together, like:
Your decision maker may not care as much about your product or service — but they’re interested in improving their bottom line and you can show them how.
This ties in with our final tip.
#5. Teach Decision Makers Something Valuable
When 700 B2B buyers were interviewed about why they chose one company over another, the number one reason was that the sales team provided education, new ideas for old problems, and technological tools they never considered.
When you connect with a decision maker, more than half of them will want to see and understand how your product or service works or will integrate with their systems immediately.
So rather than trying to spew your sales pitch to your decision maker, you might want to try educating them with one of these ideas instead:
- Free online or in-person seminars
- Web sessions and demos of your product or service
- Whitepapers or ebooks
- Short how-to or rundown videos
- Research briefing call
It’s that easy.
If you give your decision maker something to think about that no one else ever brought to the table, your chances of connecting increase exponentially.
Ideally, you’ll want to incorporate each of these tips to reach high-powered decision makers regularly.
But if you have to start with one, build up your website, LinkedIn, and other social media pages to sell for you. Then reach out to your existing customer base and network of referrals to further show decision makers you’re the one to connect with.
Follow these tips and you’ll never have to make another cold call to reach a high-powered decision maker again.Dave Lawrence is the Head of Growth at Follow Up Boss, a CRM for real estate teams. In his role he spends his time ‘under the hood’ of many of the top performing real estate sales teams in North America, helping them leverage technology and process to become more effective at delivering value and service to their clients. Find Follow Up Boss on Twitter: @FollowUpBoss or visit the website: followupboss.com
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.