1. Don’t ignore the gatekeeper.
Treat them the same way you would the senior level person you are trying to reach.
Ask the gatekeeper the same questions you would the senior person you’re trying to reach.
Many times the gatekeeper is the one who in the end will determine whether you merit time on the senior level person’s calendar.
2. Call between 58 minutes after the hour and two minutes into the hour.
Most senior level people are in meetings all day, and the only time they might have a chance to be free is immediately following or just before a meeting.
3. If you send them an email, do not include any attachments or links.
Senior level people are extremely skeptical of opening any email attachments, much more so than others. Don’t give them any more of a reason to ignore you.
4. Write your email to be read on a smartphone.
The last thing a senior level person is going to to do is waste valuable time at their desk going through emails. Email is an activity they do on the move.
5. Never communicate using technical terms.
Using technical jargon and talking specs, performance, etc., will get you shuttled off to another department quickly. Senior level people don’t deal with technical data, and the last thing they want to be is be embarrassed for not knowing.
6. Leverage LinkedIn.
The CEO isn’t going to be on LinkedIn, but their gatekeeper most likely is. The gatekeeper and others in the company will check your profile during the vetting process to see if you even deserve time with the CEO.
7. Leverage weekend communication.
Senior level people do not take weekends off. They engage in their jobs 24/7. Many times the best way to reach them is with a timely weekend email that shares briefly one strategic insight and question.
Just remember if you do this, you too need to be monitoring your email all weekend. If they respond on a Saturday and you don’t respond until Monday, you’ll be seen as not being part of the “C-Suite Club.”
8. Use your relationships.
The higher up you go in an organization, the more isolated you become to others. The world of the C-Suite is a protected safe zone meant to keep people from harm. This means they need to see you as one of them before they will let you in, and the best way to do this is via someone else in your network who can help open the door.
9. Leverage academia and cultural/community organizations.
Senior level people are engaged in their community on one level or another. It might be a university they attended, a passion for the arts or a commitment to a major cause. Naturally, they are more likely to trust someone they see in these same circles.
10. Don’t think one or two contacts is all it will take.
Reaching the senior level person may take 10 or 20 attempts, but don’t feel the first 9 or 19 are a waste. Each attempt is laying the groundwork, demonstrating you are committed. The one thing to remember is each contact must contain a different message and a different purpose. Repetition of contacting is good, just as long as the message itself is not repetitive.
To gain more great insights along these same lines, you would benefit tremendously by attending the Customer Acquisition Symposium on November 13. Go to this link to find out more and register!
I will be speaking at the symposium, along with 5 other thought leaders who are ready to give you practical insights you can start using immediately! Hope to see you there!
Copyright 2015, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.