Recently, an attendee on my Biz Dev Done Right webinar asked the following question: “Despite trying different direct messaging techniques including phone calls, emails, LinkedIn messages and warm introductions through employees of the target company, one decision maker won’t respond to me. Any suggestions?”
I said: “Are you 100% sure this is the exact right person? Is it also obvious to the prospect that he is the exact right person? Sometimes, a prospect won’t respond because he is not the right person or thinks he is not the right person. One seller, “Pat”, spent three frustrating months reaching out to one prospect. Finally, he researched further only to find his contact changed roles but never updated his LinkedIn profile.”
Are you 100% sure your emails, voicemails, LinkedIn messages and other communication clearly explain why the decision maker should respond? Critically review your emails. Were they short, concise, and explained why meeting you would make the prospect’s life better? Was your subject line compelling, not “salesy?” Was your “ask” clear? If not, now is the time to massage your messaging. Make it easy for prospects to say “yes!”
If you’re sure your contact is the right person, your sales message is compelling, and the ask is clear, here are a few successful techniques our Door Openers use:
1. Call the assistant, if the decision maker has one, and ask for help. Let the assistant know you’ve been trying to reach the decision maker, what you have done so far and ask for guidance regarding what to do next. Explain why the decision maker would not want to put off meeting you. Avoid phrases such as, “I would love a meeting.” That’s about you. This request is about the decision maker. Ask for help securing time on the calendar. The assistant will likely need to ask the decision maker for permission. Arm the assistant with easily digestible information (not a lengthy PowerPoint) that will help the prospect say “yes.”
2. Call or email on a Sunday night. Decision makers often clear their inboxes on the weekend. After you explain why a meeting with you is important, ask him/her to give the assistant permission to put a meeting on the calendar. Then, call the assistant Monday morning to follow up on the date and time that works.
3. Ask for a meeting by phone/email, then send a calendar invite proposing a half-hour timeslot. Let the decision maker know you will send an invite for easy scheduling and that you are open to other dates and times if what you initially proposed does not work.
4. Email asking if he or she is the right person with whom to speak. If not, ask to be directed to the appropriate person. Sometimes the right person will apologize for not responding sooner. Express your understanding of how busy life is and ask for the meeting!