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  • Writer's pictureMark Evans

How to Get Passed to the Boss

A guide on how to get your prospect to connect you with the Key Decision Maker (KDM)

Do you have trouble getting your champion to move you up to the KDM (Front desk moving you on to a director or VP getting you connected with the CEO)?

One of the best pieces of training I've recently heard about getting past the front desk is to "speak the language of the person you are trying to get in front of or persuade"

Different Titles Speak Different Languages:

-Front Desk Person or end user speaks Greek

-Director/VP speaks French

-C level speaks Russian

During your sales presentation (discovery and demo) you should show value that resonates with the person you are speaking with but ask questions that are above their pay grade and would make sense for them to pass you on to their boss.

If I was speaking to the end user I would build commonality and show value in Greek, but my questions would be in French. This way they have to loop in the French speaker to get your questions answered but they want to move you up because you are checking the boxes that they care about.

Different Value Propositions for Each Role

The Greek (End User) speaker usually cares about reducing the time they spend on mundane tasks. Don't sell them the coolest new technology that will add to their day but increase revenue. They do not care about increasing revenue. This is an hourly or entry level job for them. They mostly care about how to make their job easier.

The French speaker (VP) cares about looking good, maximizing their team, visible results. Ask questions around what they are evaluated on, what the board is focusing on, how their sales team is preforming. Some VP's want to see details and are prone to be more pessimistic. Explain how you will make them be the best by sharing stories paired with a demo highlighting things that would resonate to them

The Russian speaker (CEO) cares about revenue, market share, and competition. Do not show the features of your product. Show the solutions others have experienced by using your product. A good way to visualize this is to think about what you have done for your happiest customers after using your product for a year. For example - predictable growth, competition is less relevant, get back to what they love about their job.

Now that you have peaked their interest you need to get to the next level. You do this by asking questions in a different language than your value proposition.

Questions to Get Leveled Up

Question for the end user that only the VP or Director would know:

  • What targets are you trying to hit this year

  • How is that being measured

  • What goals were missed last year

  • What steps have you taken to not repeat those mistakes

Questions for the VP that only executives would know:

  • What is being done to solve hiring problems

  • What % of the Market are you trying to capture in the next year

  • what potential red flags are on the horizon for you hitting your revenue (churn or employee retention) goals

  • What are some company wide struggles that you are having trouble getting ahead of

A good way to structure thoughtful and relevant questions is to ask them in the form of a use case:

The CEO of STI Medical was worried about just coming in under his revenue target this year. We implemented some strategies to solve this. What organizational wide risks do you see that could stop you from reaching your revenue target this year?

Have a few of these questions lined up so that the prospect feels like they are unprepared to answer your questions and feels the need to loop in some help. This is only accomplished once you have shown them the value you can provide.

Help With the Hand Off

You will be passed along if you check the boxes your prospect cares about, ask questions that they don't know the answer too, and most importantly they trust you. Make your follow-up professional, brief, and clear.

My prospects need a little nudge to encourage or remind them to talk about me. To ensure this hand off happens I like to send a gift to the office that will give your champion an opportunity to talk about you. Some automated tools to send your prospect are Rocket Notes and Sendoso.

Let me know what things you have done to get past the gate keeper, Director, VP, etc in the comments below.

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