Ten Ways to Get and Keep the Attention of Decision Makers

Most business owners are well aware of the importance of getting your marketing message to the decision makers of companies. Doing this is the best way to take your business to the next level, where higher margins await.

However, all too often, the golden opportunity to engage decisions makers is lost. Inexperience or fear causes reluctance, and the urge to engage order placers – the hardest people to sell to – instead. So how do you move past these gatekeepers and into the coveted realm of the decision maker?

1) Identify the Right People

Before you even engage decision makers, you must decide who it is you wish to speak with. Although you may have been advised to get in touch with top level personnel such as the president or CEO of a company, it’s important to ask yourself whether those individuals will genuinely care about the solutions your products or services offer them.

However, when you target those near the top who will benefit directly from your solution, the odds of successful engagement are in your favour.

Of course, the best target person will depend on what you are selling, and the size of the company you are targeting. For large corporations, seek out CFOs, department heads and controllers. Smaller targets should include targeting the president as well as other department heads.

2) Choose an Approach

There are many tactics to capturing the attention of decision makers. Direct marketing is considered to be a ‘front door’ approach, and can include anything from direct mail to telemarketing. This approach requires individual messages for each target that have been tailored to showcase your product as a solution to a specific problem they are experiencing. ‘Side door’ approaches involve lots of networking until you’ve found someone inside the company who can get you to your target. The ‘back door’ approach works best for those who are not able to network or get near a decision maker. This can involve partnership with a person who already has this access.

3) Be Genuine and Honest

Being yourself is likely the most effective means of engaging decision makers. Although this may make some cringe, being yourself means you will be relaxed. And that means a much more effective delivery of your pitch to decision makers. And the bonus: you won’t have to put on a personality each day like you would a shirt.

4) Be Selfless

There’s nothing more personal than offering your help selflessly. Instead of blatantly going in for the kill, consider the old adage ‘You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar’.  Keep in touch with those decision-makers you’ve contacted in the past, and offer to help them without any expectation of reciprocation. You may be surprised at how well you’re received.

5) Keep Your Door Open

Have you ever thought about what to do once you’ve made that first call to a decision maker? It may be incredibly easy to close the deal. But what about the up-sell? The most common mistake made in business is not getting permission from your new contacts to continue to stay in touch. This regular contact is just what you need to be able to nurture your business relationship and keep it strong.

6) Continuously Prove Your Worth

You know that your product or service has lots of value. But do decision makers? By continuously finding new reasons why your product or service has value, you can provide gentle reminders to decision makers that will keep your brand at the forefront of their minds.

7) Harness the Power of the Quote

If you want to compliment the expertise and knowledge of the decision maker and also associate yourself with their credibility, one thing you can do is to quote a decision maker directly. How do you go about obtaining their pearls of wisdom? Try visiting their website, looking for blogs that mention them, or checking your social media stream.

8) Learn the Difference between Participant and Pioneer

These days, you can comment on just about anything you see online. But isn’t everyone already doing that? Instead of merely commenting, consider becoming the first in a thread actually to start a discussion. Drawing out other readers will create more engagement. Moreover, engagement can attract the attention of your target, or at least of someone who may be able to help you get in touch with one.

9) Be Sincere

Are you genuinely impressed with the way a company you’re targeting has accomplished a goal or made life better for someone? If so, then why not tell them that? One way to do so is, of course, directly. But another can be nominating them for a prestigious award. Often, companies who are in the running for these awards ultimately get to read the nominations they’ve received. And that can get you noticed.

10) Recommend Them

If a company has benefited you in some way, why not tell others about it? Depending on the medium you use, your praises could reach millions of people potentially. Moreover, there’s nothing wrong with decision makers knowing your name.

It may seem like there is a lot to getting the attention of decision makers. The truth is that if you are yourself and are genuinely interested in the companies you are targeting, your rewards will be genuine as well. The engaging of decision makers is relationship building, this process never ends.

A great business relationship is like any other great relationship. If you put in a genuine effort to get a person’s attention in the beginning, but then drop them like a hot potato once you’ve gotten what you want, don’t be surprised if the other party is no longer interested in hearing what you have to say.

The only way to get and keep decision makers engaged is to follow the tips above every single day. While you may not know where the journey will take you, you can be confident knowing that you are consistently doing your best. And that’s what good business is all about.