In the first part of this post, I shared how calling for a former employee can help you find a decision maker. Here’s a few other strategies to isolate the right contact at a large company.
Use Implicit Data on LinkedIn
Let’s revert back to the conundrum of there being 12 people in the marketing department and limited transparency to which one is responsible for your particular initiative. There’s a few places on a LinkedIn profile that contain implicit data from which you can draw conclusions.
The Skills and Expertise Section
The skills and expertise section contains granular endorsements (i.e. email marketing, social media, SEM). These can provide a strong indication what someone is responsible for at a particular company.
Say I was looking to …
Awhile back I wrote a post called Less Obvious Ways to Find A Decision Maker. I’ve discovered a few additional tactics since then that thought I’d share in a multi part post:
Call For Someone Who No Longer Works There
Calling into an 1000+ person company and asking the operator who manages a particular initiative (i.e. digital marketing) often results into getting routed to a department voicemail that never gets checked. Why you ask? Because you’re signaling that you’re a salesperson whose unfamiliar with the company. This is why it’s imperative to always have a name to call; it legitimizes yourself and compels people to take you seriously.
But Scott, there’s 18 marketing directors on LinkedIn and:
I don’t know which one is actually …
One of the first mistakes I made when I initially started doing BD was how’d I’d ask if someone if they were the decision maker.
“So X, would you say that you’re the decision maker for this.”
“Yes” was the answer I received 95% of the time. I’d say the number of actual decision makers I was talking too was probably closer to 50%. The incongruence emanated from the fact that I was asking all wrong.
Very few strangers have the authenticity to admit that they don’t hold much power:
“No, I’m actually just a minion to my overload boss.”
Of course someone is going to indicate they’re a decision making power when you flat out ask them. It’s like asking a parent if their …
Pro-active business development is about finding decision makers and making it happen when you do.
LinkedIn is a pretty powerful tool for finding a decision maker, but sometimes it’s not enough. Let me illustrate an example of what I’m alluding to from my subscription commerce days.
As a budding sub-com warlord, I wanted to reach the person in charge of allocating sampling budgets for a large brand. My guess was that I needed to talk to someone in the marketing department, but there would be 13 marketing coordinators on LinkedIn. Of course none of them mentioned anything about sampling in their job description. What’s a little known startup to do?
When I find myself in …