Getting a response from a decision maker at a company initially can be a battle. Especially in larger accounts. These people are busy and getting pinged by other sales reps. How will you get a response? You don’t have to lose sleep over this part of the process. In order to do that, it would be wise to use this part of the sales process to take a leap of faith and try new things to stand out. I’m assuming you’re already leaving world class voicemails; buttering up the gatekeeper; researched the company; and have sent emails with a crisp message that stand out. In conjunction with those steps, these unconventional ones will leave an impression on your target decision maker and make him/her acknowledge your existence on this planet and respond to you:
1. Send a fruit basket – Why not? Who doesn’t like fruit? It’s healthy for crying out loud. This especially comes in handy when it’s a decision maker who just started a new role at your account. A nice little note to go with the fruit like “Bob, on behalf of ABC Company, congratulations on your new role at XYZ Company. I look forward to connecting with you.” You just put Bob in a position to acknowledge your gift and give you an answer. This goes without being said – find out the exact day that fruit basket arrives and call promptly call Bob to ensure delivery.
2. Order pizza for the interns – This doesn’t work at large multi-billion dollar corporations but works well with startups of 200 employees or less, especially if you’re trying to reach out to the CEO directly. Here you’ll have to do some additional research to determine if a particular account qualifies for this. Like how many interns does this company have? What’s their company culture like? In a high call volume sales environment, you need to move in between calls quickly, so make some extra time in the mornings, evenings or weekend even for this type of research. If you’re asking yourself what’s the point of this, you’ve obviously never worked at a startup before. Word travels fast within the walls of a young, budding, millennial-infested, Starbucks-chugging startup. You don’t think that C-level executive you’re contacting won’t hear about their interns getting pizza for lunch on a Friday afternoon? Make sure to fax (they have faxes) the pizza place a note to include for the interns and a note for them to give to your decision maker. What have you got to lose? $40 or $50 on a potential $100,000 account? The worst case scenario is you get a polite “thank you, but not right now.” You move on with more time to focus on getting a yes somewhere else. But you just built up a lot of equity in that “no”. And being the good sales person you are, you’ll find out when you can reach back out so you can get that ‘yes’.
You’re obviously not doing these these things with every account. Only the ones you and your manager deem to be appropriate for this type of action. What you do while you’re calling and emailing them will ultimately dictate if that decision maker is convinced that you understand their business and if you’re worth their time. You have to have a sound prospecting foundation to be unconventional. Fruit baskets and pizza for the interns aren’t the magic bullets to getting an appointment with a decision maker. But what they do is increase the likelihood that your prospect will get a response.