Appointments generated by telemarketing companies would be rendered completely useless if they were not with the right decision maker. So there are a number of things we do to make sure we find and engage the right folk from the get-go.
Identifying the decision maker as quickly as possible will help to ensure you don’t waste precious time building relationships with people who could turn into gatekeepers and stop you speaking with the decision makers direct. Telemarketing companies understand that to work out who’s really in charge, telemarketers need to ask the right questions.
As HubSpot says “There’s nothing more frustrating than getting your prospect’s commitment to buy — before realizing they’re not the decision maker. You can avoid the situation completely by researching your contacts and asking the right questions during the discovery process”. Someone might sound like the right person and make all the right noises but if they are not the right decision maker, you’ll struggle to get a meaningful enough foothold in that organisation to make long term sales happen.
Who da MAN?
To identify the right key decision maker, telemarketing companies will have a set criterion. MAN is an acronym that’s often used by way of guidance. The MAN is the person with the:
The person with the means, authority and need to make a decision will ultimately be the decision maker who owns the problem or opportunity you’re looking to address with your product or service. They will have the motivation and the need to make positive improvements, and they’ll be the person with the budget to purchase or make changes.
Ask the right questions
Often, the person who picks up the phone isn’t the decision maker they are the receptionist or gatekeeper, getting them on side is a good idea but don’t pitch to them. Establishing the correct target at this point can be tricky. Good telemarketing companies ask questions in a way that helps iron out ambiguity. For example, asking for the person who ‘deals with’ is not a good idea, since the person who deals with something may be an end user, or administrator, but not necessarily someone who makes decisions about it. These contacts can actually become a second layer gatekeeper, after the receptionist, if you pitch to them because they might choose to make assumptions in an attempt to be helpful to the real decision maker.
By wording your question in a more probing way, you can give the person you’re speaking to the opportunity to pass the relationship on without making them feel unimportant. This means asking for the person ‘in charge of’ or who ‘makes decisions about’ is a good start. Telemarketing companies will then take the name and check spelling phonetically, perhaps also find out the best time reach to them.
Specifically describing the person you’re seeking is helpful, but once you’ve asked for ‘the person in charge of’, there’s another layer of checking you can do. Telemarketing companies will ask for a job title at this point. If the job title suggests they are not a decision maker, you can qualify further by asking who they report to. It’s essential to be professional and respectful at this point, and if there is any resistance at all, back off and try again another time. Under GDPR a job title is personal information, so be careful how you ask for it. Telemarketing companies work on the assumption that we don’t have the right to ask for anything; we earn it in our manner and professionalism.
Some organisations may not actually have a single decision maker responsible for a certain product or solution, especially if it’s an important installation for the business, such as CAD. They may instead have a DMU. A DMU is a ‘decision making unit’ of people who have some level of responsibility, or several people responsible for certain facets. This means there’s more work for telemarketing companies to do before getting traction, or any kind of success with these organisations. However, DMUs offer the valuable advantage that once they’ve managed to build contacts and established a rapport, the connection with that organisation will be robust enough that even if a key contact leaves, there is still a strong link to grow the relationship moving forward.