I recently found myself watching a re-run of Dragons Den. A lady seeking investment was explaining to Peter Jones that whilst she had a great product, she was unsuccessful in prospecting to large organisations due to their no-names policies.
Large organisations employ no names policies to reduce the time spent by employees speaking with every man and his dog in the hope of selling to them. In reality many executives are open to take speculative calls if you have done your homework and can offer a relevant product or service that will ultimately make or save them money.
5 Top Tips:
1. Don’t Argue
If a receptionist states the company has a no names policy, don’t argue. This will only prompt the receptionist to remember you, and could make it harder to be put through successfully once you have established who it is you need to speak with. Plus it’s just not polite. Instead, ask how they would prefer you to introduce yourself as this may reveal the relevant department even if you’re given a generic answer.
2. Sourcing quality prospect data
Most data providers can identify decision makers based on Job Title. If you are contacting Director level decision makers such as Marketing Directors, Financial Directors, Company Secretaries or HR Directors, it makes financial sense to purchase good quality data rather than running a telemarketing campaign to ‘data clean’ for contact names.
3. Voicemails and departments
I’m sure you already know this one, but asking a receptionist to put you through to a relevant department can either give you an opportunity to speak with a less guarded colleague and/or be directed to a voicemail revealing the prospect’s full name.
4. Using Linked-In the smart way
Linked-In company & employee searches will allow you to search by job title. Whilst standard memberships currently only display the first name, a further google search using their exact Linked-In job title, first name and the word ‘Linked-in’ will often show a search result revealing their full name, e.g. Search: Head of Procurement Joe B Linked In. It’s also worth noting the Linked-In location to ensure you’re contacting the right office.
If you cannot find the right prospect, e.g. Head of Procurement, try searching for a member of their team, e.g Procurement Administrator, who may be able to point you in the right direction and will no doubt be less guarded than a receptionist or PA.
5. What’s happening now?
Google is a great resource to locate recent news articles and industry publications. You can improve your chances of engaging the right prospect by learning about recent company changes or reading articles your prospect has published.