Should You Always Talk to the Decision Maker When Cold Calling?

In most sales cycles, speaking with the decision maker becomes crucial, typically in later stages.

However, at the beginning of the sales cycle, it’s often unnecessary to speak directly with them to be effective. In fact, it’s my belief that in most situations it is not critical to speak with the decision maker to be productive with your work.

Here’s why:

  • 1st – The sales cycle may never start for a particular prospect if it is dependent upon speaking with the key decision maker. In looking at the hierarchy of people involved in the evaluation of a purchase decision, there is no secret that the decision maker will probably be the most challenging to get on a phone call.
  • 2nd – The decision maker might be removed enough from day-to-day activities that they might not be aware of issues or concerns with the current product or service that you are selling. If they are aware, it might not yet be high enough of a priority as it is to the decision influencers. If you get the interest started with the influencers, they can indirectly help you advance through the sales cycle.

If you have setup your teleprospecting game plan correctly, there is a good chance that you are both targeting a very specific business segment and this is the first time you are cold calling into this segment.

In typical selling scenarios, securing a deal with a single call is uncommon. Based on this fact, accept that there is a process that you will take that leads you to earning business. In the initial stages, take the opportunity to learn about the company, learn what current system they have in place, learn satisfaction levels, learn future timing for change and importantly, learn about the person(s) you speak with throughout this journey.

If you stay in touch, and cultivate the opportunity, at some point in the future you should have earned your way to speak with the decision maker. However, to get to this point you do not necessarily need to speak to a decision maker – decision influencers can be your best friend.

In summary, take what you can get while making your prospecting cold calls, capture this information and build upon it. Remain committed and consistent with making your cold calls. Never forget that selling is a game of numbers. The more work, the more you are persistent, the more you will earn the right to speak with decision makers, and when this happens, you will be properly prepared to earn their business.