Have any of you ever found: The harder it is to get your foot in the door, the easier it is to get the sale? That is the lesson I learned when I was selling vacuum cleaners door to door in the early eighties. As a rule, if I needed to put forth a substantial effort up front, my meeting was usually more productive and rewarding in the end.
The same principle applies in today’s fast paced world. The top dogs are usually pretty well-insulated. Battle-hardened executive secretaries or electronic gatekeepers work to help keep you and other “distractions” at bay.
It’s not easy to get in front of the decision makers in an organization. So, what’s a sales professional to do? GET CREATIVE!
Below are a few ideas you can use to get the attention of an executive you want to meet with.
Find out the favorite restaurant of the executive. Go there, steal a menu, box it up and send it via FedEx or UPS along with an invitation to lunch.
Cut a 2×4 piece of lumber down to about a 3 foot length. Write a message on it something to the effect of, “Please beat me with this next week. Then, let’s have a real conversation about how I can help you.”
Hang out at the same country club the executive does and get to know some of their friends. Your mom was right, “Birds of a feather will flock together.” If the friends like you, the executive will be more open to meeting with you.
Park behind the executive in the parking lot, raise the hood of your car and pretend to have car trouble.
A client of ours claims to have gotten into see Donald Trump with the following progressive technique using a deck of cards. On Day 1 – Overnight the Ten of Hearts, Day 2- Overnight the Jack of Hearts, Day 3 Overnight the Queen of Hearts, Day 4 – Overnight the King of Hearts, and finally, on Day 5 – Overnight half of the Ace of Hearts card. On Day 6- Show up with the other half.
I want to make sure you don’t take this information the wrong way. Remember: The best way to get your foot in the door is through a referral. In the real world, however, that is not always possible. If you decide to use one of the above listed tactics, proceed with caution and confidence. These ideas are not for the faint of heart.
Be unique, be innovative. It’s important to make contact and be prepared after you do. I invite you to try one of the suggestions above, or consider your own creative way to make contact with someone you want to get in front of.
I’m sure you have a way that has worked for you. Perhaps, you’ve heard of something that works for others. In the spirit of sharing, would you be kind enough to take a minute and post it here for the benefit of your fellow sales professionals?