I was asked recently about ways to develop leads with senior people in companies in an industry where you don’t have any current leads.   Yes, all of the normal sales prospecting techniques will work, and yes, they should be used.

But one that I recommended, especially if the goal is to create contacts at the highest level of a company, is to get connected with trade associations with which these companies are most likely involved. In particular, the association will typically have people within the association you can get to know. These people often can help open up doors with companies.

The key, of course, is to provide the association staff with a reason why they should help you.  This means you need to help the association staff do their job, and that most likely means helping them achieve their goals of serving their members.  A few examples might be to help provide the staff with critical information, reports, white papers, etc. that will be seen as objective and not merely an advertisement.  If you can provide them with information they see as valuable, they will then see you as valuable. From there you can then build your relationship.

If you’re looking for a fast method, I recognize that this isn’t it.  Sorry.  What you will develop with this technique, though, is a very reliable way to open new doors with senior people.

Copyright 2010, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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