Have you ever been working on a deal with a contact and realized about 6 months in that you have been talking to the completely wrong person all along?
Not only is it important in sales to build relationships, but it’s extremely important to build relationships with the right people.
One way to do this is by blatantly asking, “hey, are you the decision maker there, or am I wasting my time?” Although I think honesty in sales is the best policy, I don’t think being that simply being so direct is the right approach. It makes you seem pushy and is a bit off-putting to the customer.
Instead, I suggest you try to form relationships with a few different contacts at the same company. Cast your net wide, and you’re bound to catch the right fish.
[Tweet “”Cast your net wide, and you’re bound to catch the right fish.” – @adamhonig #FlipMyFunnel”]
Here are 6 ways to help you expand your circle of influence at a single company:
1. Use the gatekeeper to your advantage
Most people in B2B sales come face to face with a gatekeeper, whose job it is to block the decision makers from unwanted solicitations. If you already have a contact at a company and it’s going nowhere, then perhaps it time to treat them as a gatekeeper, but use it to your advantage.
Ask them with questions that can lead you to a better prospect or department. You can derive a lot of value from any contact, even if it’s the wrong one. Ask questions about them, then questions about the company, and then questions about the decision makers there. This person may not only happen to have the keys to the kingdom, but may also have the map of how to get there.
2. Always ask “and who else…”
If you have been building rapport, made a solid connection with a contact, and are about to set up a meeting with them, always ask “who else should join us on this call”? It’s good practice to also mention in your emails a simple “is there anyone else I should loop in on this email?”
[Tweet “”Always ask “and who else…”” – @adamhong #FlipMyFunnel”]
Be sure to reach out to anyone your initial contact mentions, but also don’t drop that original contact like a hot potato. Also remember to enter these additional people into your database, and include them in all subsequent communications, where applicable.
3. Offer them a “team” demo.
For ease, most reps send a link in their emails to make it simple for contacts to sign up for a demo. However, it’s just as easy to send a link that offers a team demo, with the suggestion to add in other’s email addresses and have them attend the online meeting as well.
Maybe the person you are having success reaching by email isn’t the person that will most benefit from your solution, but suggesting a team demo could lead you to the correct audience that you want to hear your pitch.
4. Use reverse psychology
If a deal feels like it’s stalling and you think it’s due to the fact that you are just talking to the wrong contact, then you can try and use reverse psychology to push back on them. But, use this tactic with caution, as it can backfire on you and push the customer away. Try saying something like, “you know, I’m not sure you’re the right person for me to be speaking with, but I’d love to show the value add of my product to others at your company that you think may be in a better position to make a decision. ”
Amazingly, the tactic can switch focus and force them try and convince you why they are the right person, or it can make them face the facts that they should introduce to you to other contacts at their company. If they aren’t the decision maker, and don’t feel comfortable pressing that person, then you can swoop in and offer to be the one to proactively fight the fit, timing, and budget battles for them. They may put you in touch with (or at least name drop) a better lead’s name.
5. Put LinkedIn to use
Do a quick search on LinkedIn for anyone working at the company you are pursuing that has a title matching who you perceive would benefit from your pitch. Then strategically drop that person’s name into an email you send to your current connection.
Ask them to “cc or forward” your message to their coworkers, as you think they may also benefit from your product or service. If they agree, a forwarded email from an internal source can act as a personal reference and get those new contacts to open your email and expand your circle of influence.
6. Use technology to help
Put artificial intelligence to work for you, and invest in technology to help you make new connections. There are some great solutions out there! Your CRM should automatically cull through your emails and search for possible contacts that can be linked back to an existing company record. Thus giving you a broader reach within a single company.
If one of your contacts copies their co-worker on an email, your CRM should proactively suggest that you should add them as a contact in your database. Software using artificial intelligence is capable of searching and appending data to this new contact – connecting the dots for you and saving you valuable time.