Okay, you have taken the time to plan out an ideal customer profile and have identified several companies which you want to call. You know the rank or title of the position you need to get in touch with to make an appointment to start your sales process.
Now comes the hard part – you have no name or phone number and especially no email address. So what do you do? You know the probability of success increases when you have a specific name to call upon. Again, so what do you do?
Here is what you do – a little leg work and you are closing in on the right people to begin your b2b sales process.
- Check the local phone book first. You will be amazed at the number of departments and direct lines to select departments are still listed in the white papers of the phone book.
- If you have the department you need, call the number and engage the receptionist as a friend asking for help and guidance. Often you will get the name, direct line and title of the person from the receptionist.
- Okay, you can’t find a department listing or engage a receptionist due to one corporate phone number and one of those automated answering systems – next step is to Google the company name and see what comes up. Usually you can find a page with more information about the company (even their website), addresses of facilities and key leaders of the organization. (One of my favorite tips is to find any email address on the website and look at the pattern utilized for an individual. Then once I get the name of person I’m wanting to visit – I test the pattern I found on the website. Often times this works like a charm.) This website can provide a huge amount of information. And, many smaller companies are still providing the names of officers, managers and sales people with direct phone numbers and email addresses on the site.
- As a b2b sales person one of the best sources of information are other sales people. Therefore, call the company and ask for a sales person. Then explain who you are and you need their help in finding the right person to contact. Most of the time you will get your name, direct phone number (even their cell number) and email address from a helpful sales person.
- Okay, you know the department or functional group – now call and ask for an administrative assistant and ask for their assistance in finding the Right Person in their organization. However, be prepared when you do this because often you will be transferred immediately to this person. So be prepared and get your appointment.
- Earlier, I mentioned going to the website. However I forgot to tell you when you cannot information about locations and people – then got to the “Contact Us” page on their site. Usually you will find addresses, drop down boxes, and pop ups with the needed information to begin your sales process.
- Finally, if you are still having trouble finding the right person, get a listing of offices or branches or even plants. Call the smaller location sites and begin a conversation with the person who answers at this location. Usually they are not as resistant as the main or corporate office and therefore will openly tell you who you need to talk with about your products or services. By the way, an added bonus is these same people will probably share their issues relative to your area of expertise. And, better yet, may actually introduce you to the key contact you need to meet – thus increasing your chances of a faster meeting.
There you have a number of b2b sales tips to find the right person to contact within a targeted account. The key is always do your homework and get a name before making the big call as your chances are decreased when you call and ask for the Materials Manager or General Manager or any other title with no name attached.
This tactic shows you have not done much, if any homework. These people are extremely busy and have no time to waste talking to an unprepared b2b sales person. So find out the name of the contact you need to see and then call this person to get started.