The higher the better
When you present your program to a company, the higher up you can go the better. If you can get in to see the CEO, (or talk to him or her on the phone) that is fantastic. You may not need to spend a lot of time with the CEO. But if the CEO likes you and your product, you will have a lot easier time of it as you talk with people at lower ranks.
Let's say that the person who will decide on your product is the plant manager. But before you talk with the plant manager, you talked with the CEO. You described your product and your program. Charlie, the CEO liked it. Then Charlie told you, "You know, this sounds pretty good. But Tom, our plant manager, is the guy that handles all this. Give him a call."
Then you say, "Great. I'll do that. Is Tom the one that makes the decisions on this? Does he have a budget for this?"
If the answer is "yes," then Tom is your man.
If the answer is "no," then you need to find out who actually makes the decisions. That is the person to whom you want to speak.
OK. Let's say that Charlie the CEO told you, "Yes, Tom has the budget and, yes, Tom makes the decisions." Now you have enormous power when you call Tom for the first time. Instead of calling Tom cold, out of the blue, your conversation will go like this:
"Hey Tom, I'm Steve Savage, with Global Plastics. Charlie Stiller and I were just talking about plastics and he asked me to give you a call. He told me you're the guy that makes all the decisions about this. I'm going to be in your area tomorrow and I was wondering if I could drop by for about 12 minutes to introduce myself and let you know what we have. Would 1:30 be convenient for you or would 3:00 be better?"
Talk about credibility! How can Tom say "no?" You made two phone calls, one to Charlie and one to Tom. But on the second call with Tom you have the power of Charlie's endorsement. You will walk in to see Tom with confidence and strength. You will make a sale.
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