How friggen hard can it be to get to the decision-maker?
Pretty damn annoying when you know you have a great product or service.
In fact it’s beyond infuriating; it can actually be the difference between you making a bucket load of cash or wallowing in misery.
And it’s all about getting past those bloody Dobermans. Those people who feel it’s their God-given responsibility to protect their boss from ‘fraudsters’ like you and I 😉
Now I’m not so naive as to think that there are some people who these Dobermans really should work hard at keeping away from their boss – but I can’t help but think, in fact I know, that having a one-size-fits-all policy is dumb.
I mean just think about how many great ideas never get in to the hands and heads of the right people, all because their Doberman was over protective.
So given that there will always be Dobermans in this world, here’s five ways to get past them.
Bribe them. Oops, I mean feed them some meat
A real Doberman loves a juicy piece of eye fillet. Give them one and they turn in to a Poodle. So find out what the person likes who’s standing in the way and give them some of it. Yes, it could be something physical like movie tickets; but they also may just like to be recognised as important. Play the short game with the end game in mind.
2. Wear them down
Not my favourite approach, but it can certainly work. I asked this Texas real estate agent who’s selling a ranch for $994M how he got the listing – his response was that he simply wore down the solicitors over a three-month period. Now it was of course a little bit more involved than simply giving them a buzz or email every day; he also showed more passion, enthusiasm and knowledge than any of the other agents chasing the deal.
3. Make them famous
As a young bloke, I worked in Australia’s largest advertising agency. One day the owner came up and gruffly asked “Reid, what do you think you’re here to do?!” “Make ads for my clients” was my ill-considered reply. “Bollocks! You’re here to make your clients famous.” From that point on I took the mindset that it was all about them. My clients. If I made them look good in front of their colleagues and superiors then I was off to the races. How can you make the Doberman look like the hero in front of their boss?
4. Forget about yourself
Most messages fail for a simple reason. They talk about you or your business or your product. Not your prospect. You may find your business or yourself deeply interesting. Sorry. Nobody else gives a damn. They want to know what you or what you sell can do for them. And why it does it better than alternatives (after all, they can always choose your competitor).
As far as a Doberman is concerned, if your letter or e-mail helps solve one of their boss’s problems – it suddenly has value. It will make it to the boss’s desk, or stay in their inbox. They know what his or her concerns are.
So say something helpful. Immediately – right at the start. Before they can turn off. Keep no powder dry. How? Easy. Start with a problem that hits a raw nerve. That gets their head nodding. Then swoop in with your solution – elegantly explained.
5. Call when the Doberman’s asleep
Often the bosses get to work early. Way before the rest of their team. That’s why they’re the boss, right? They’re driven. Hungry. Motivated. So, if you’ve got their Doberman’s number, ring it at 7:00AM – the boss just might answer. And if they do, be ready. You’ll want to nail your pitch there and then.
Share your tip for getting past the Dobermans below.