Finding the Decision Maker at a Large Company

By Steve Atlas

Finding the decision maker at a large company can be as frustrating as sitting in rush-hour traffic, but the following tips will help you get to that illusive decision maker in a hurry.

1. Do advance research on the target company. Check the company’s Website and other online and offline sources to learn about its products or services, clients, culture, leadership and issues.

2. Network to find one or more contacts at the target company.

3. Set up informational interviews with these contacts. Learn about the company’s structure, needs and priorities, whether purchasing decisions are centralized or decentralized, who in the company might need what you are offering, and whom your contacts might call if they were you.

4. Develop a list of 40 to 50 possible buyers. Find one with a problem and need that you can help solve. Your goals are to get an appointment, and then to earn the right to be considered for big projects by successfully completing a test project you may be given. Don’t give up after one setback. Remember there are many possible buyers at a large company.

5. Build a relationship by becoming a resource and solution provider for decision makers and their organizations. Focus on the clients’ needs and how you can help solve them, even if this means recommending another supplier. This builds trust and credibility.

6. Find a mentor within the target company so you will have an advocate there – someone whom you can bounce ideas off of for feedback, advice and support. This may be a manager or decision maker for whom you have successfully completed a project and shown the value of your product or service.