You have probably heard this before; “you must call on the decision makers”. The difficulty has been identifying who that person is in an organization. It almost all cases it isn’t purchasing. Our friends in purchasing are primarily concerned with negotiating the lowest price for any goods or services. It’s in their job description. In most cases, purchasing is getting direction from some other source that has done the research and decided what they want to buy and from whom they want to buy it.
Here’s the deal, if you are calling on low-level people in an organization, you put yourself at a disadvantage when you try to move up the org chart. You will be considered the peer of the lower level folks. As a result executives will be reluctant to deal with you. They will keep pushing you back down.
For example, if you are selling benefits or employee engagement don’t start with Human Resources just because those people will talk to you, you won’t be talking to true buyers. HR people can say “no” but not “yes.”
If you are selling equipment or components designed and built to customer specifications, buyers should not be your point of entry. Engineering is the place to begin. Get your service or product specified by engineering.
It is much more effective to be referred DOWN into the organization from an executive level than trying to work your way UP the organization from the depths of procurement. Do your homework, find out who the specifiers are. Who’s driving the purchase? Who makes the ultimate decision for the purchase?