Why You Shouldn't Target Senior Decision Makers


Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Management pros

Thursday, February 21, 2019

It seems an obvious decision to head right for the top and target the decision makers when running a sales pitch but it might not be a good idea.

Article 3 Minutes
Why You Shouldn't Target Senior Decision Makers

Salespeople are known for their ambition. Few can be successful without a generous helping of self-belief and competitiveness. With this comes a drive to target sales pitches at the big wigs. After all, they are the ones that make the decisions, so why waste time trying to get backing from lower-ranked professionals?

Well, there are actually many reasons why heading straight for senior decision makers may not be the best idea.

Why decision makers won't love your content

The higher up a career ladder a professional is, the busier they generally are. This means that decision makers are unlikely to respond to whatever you push their way, even if it's completely personalized to their interests and engaging. High level executives are simply too busy to care about most things going on outside of their areas of responsibility. Even if your sales pitch should interest them (because you'll save them money or make their teams more productive), they're likely to be blinkered to any potential benefits because of their workload.

Decision makers rely on their team to bring the best ideas and deals to them, saving them time and the frustration of having to negotiate with salespeople.

You may be missing a much better opportunity

Even if you manage to crack decision makers, it's likely that there will be much less room for movement on price, delivery and anything else you'd be looking to negotiate. Salespeople are built on not just sealing the deal, but finding the best deals for the company they work for. Targeting managers or any lower level professional will allow you to have much more influence over what final deal is agreed.

Taking this approach means you can create advocates of your sales pitch in professionals that have the time to listen and understand the benefits you can offer their organization. By making the early-stage development of the idea a more collaborative process between you and the decision maker's representative, you can get them invested in the deal from the start. This means when they take it to the decision maker, they’re already a true advocate.

Key influencers are everywhere

The professionals who have the power to influence decisions in an organization are throughout the company, not just at the top. Do your research and find the people who are really enthused by your area and target them. Finding these professionals can be the key to your success, as they will already be up to speed on the latest developments and have an invested interest in advocating improvements.

Business decision making can be a lengthy process, especially if there's a lot of money on the table. The biggest influencers in this process are the specialists who live and breathe the area every day, so getting them onside can be a massive step to success. It also means that you're crafting genuine relationships with professionals, so even if there's no opportunities for you at the present time, they may put your name forward when one does arise.

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