You know you would close more sales if you could just have a conversation with a decision-maker.
Research says you may be right. SCi Sales Group found that only 47% of executives rejected their last three sales calls.
How can you get past the gatekeeper so you can have that conversation? There are a few methods for getting your calls or emails to the person who needs to see them.
1. Guess their email
First, it's important to make sure the company has an actual need for your product. Once you're sure, it's time to find the decision-maker's contact information. Email is most likely the fastest way to get in touch.
2. Use LinkedIn
Peter Belanger, president of Sales Rebound Associates, recommends joining LinkedIn groups. It'll help you build up your second-degree connections, opening the door for introductions. At least 50 groups, according to Dan Salazar of Velocify.
If you don't join LinkedIn groups, you can still make it work through InMail. It's limited to a few credits with the option to buy more.
3. Find Referrals
If these first two strategies don't work, try getting an "internal referral". Members inside the organization can connect you with your desired executive. An external referral may work, but someone within the company brings more credibility.
Keep this step simple. You only want to find out who is the decision-maker. Consider the template below.
Sample Email Template from Tactical Sales Training:
Subject: Where shall I start
I’m hoping you can help me. Who handles the [insert pain point here] decisions at your company and how might I get in touch with them?
You should always be testing to see if you can be more effective. If you're not getting a response rate between 7-9%, it's likely time to switch up your templates.
5. Do Your Research Before Calling
It can be tempting to pull the trigger as soon as you have the contact information you want. You only have one shot, though, so take some time to prepare.
Use the 3x3 research approach developed by Vorsight. Take three minutes to find "three valuable pieces of information." These are the only 3 things you will use as talking points in your email or call.
6. Call Earlier or Later Than Usual
If they're working late, evening hours may be a good time to catch them when there's less going on. Also, if you can get them in the morning before their meetings begin, that may also work. The "before 8 or after 5" rule of thumb works here.
Ask for permission to talk before continuing the call. With that, acknowledge that you're interrupting their work and keep it brief.
7. Take Advantage of Voicemail
If you're calling and unable to get in touch, leave a voicemail that piques their interest, but is vague. You may end up leaving several voicemails while trying to reach them. That's fine, but make sure you do it right. Don't 'own' not reaching them. It's not your fault you 'missed them at their desk'.
8. Be Persistent
Arm your cold-campaigns with the above techniques for getting past the gatekeeper. Circle through your options, whether they are email, phone calls, or even direct mail.