How to Make More Connections Quickly
Successful cold calling is all about getting the right person on the phone. But what if the right person isn’t who you think it is?
Let’s say your company sells software to hospitals and healthcare groups. You know that the person who usually decides what software to buy is the CFO, so when you start making cold calls, this is the person you ask for.
After a few hours of dialing, you notice a problem with this strategy. At nine out of every ten hospitals, you end up in a voicemail box—it’s almost impossible to get the decision maker on the phone. And on the rare occasions that you do get through, the CFO isn’t able to tell you much about the hospital’s current software, and isn’t interested in talking about it anyway.
This is a classic example of a problem that VSA often sees: sometimes, the person who is ultimately the decision maker isn’t actually the best person to ask for on a cold call.
A good way to identify the best person to speak with is to ask the following questions:
- Who is most likely to take the call?
- Who is most likely to have the time and interest in scheduling an appointment?
- Who would actually use the product?
- Who is most likely to be adversely affected by the absence of the product? In other words, who has a pain point?
- Who is likely to know the most about any current products or plans to purchase?
In answering these, you might discover that a high-level influencer—rather than a decision maker—is the best person to talk to.
The right influencer can be an extremely valuable contact within an organization. While they cannot cut you a check, these influencers—usually in the management tier—are the ones who are tasked with researching the market and interacting regularly with other employees and customers.
And their influence goes beyond just bending the decision maker’s ear—influencers are likely the ones attending trade shows or conferences, or networking with their colleagues at similar institutions. If the right influencer is interested in your product, the long-term benefits for your sales team could be tremendous.
The healthcare market is only one example; from manufacturing companies to municipal agencies to retail corporations, each industry makes purchasing decisions with slightly differing levels of involvement from decision makers and influencers. That’s why a good lead generation partner will want to learn as much as possible about your market, providing feedback and adjusting the call strategy when necessary to ensure that you’re asking for the right person on the call. Companies who overlook the value of influencers can end up spending a lot of time and money just figuring out who to talk to. Don’t let this happen to you!