Firstly I’m going to disappoint you. It was nothing groundbreaking but it’s something that most people don’t do and that’s why it worked.
The company was one that was in our ICP. I always fine tune the ICP to a tighter list of Target Accounts - I don’t want to spray a pray - more of a sniper if I’m honest.
Let me walk you through the process.
I went on LinkedIn and found somebody who had been in the organization a long time and I believed would know of the person that I wanted to reach out to. Target persona - nope, not really. But not everyone you speak with is a target persona. If you’re heading out somewhere to a specific location, you have to go through several roads before you reach the final destination. That is what prospecting research is all about. It’s a journey and it starts with many roads, but you are always getting a little closer to the main destination.
I did my research to find out more about how this company operates in line with some of the things that I believe my organization could provide to them. They were already in our ICP but I needed to find out if now was going to be a suitable time to engage them in a discussion about the problems my company solves.
I built up a picture of what they’re doing right now. I pulled together notes on what I understood about that person in the role, did a bit more digging online, looked at things like who they're hiring, what they’re investing in and then I had my story together. I was ready to get in touch with them.
After the research, I called the individual and I was matter-of-fact about my intentions. I said, “I found your details on LinkedIn, I can see that you’ve worked for this company for a really long time, so you'll be an absolute expert. I want to book a meeting with your colleague, because I believe based on my research so far that there could be value in discussing the way in which you guys do X, but before I do that I believe you are someone who will be able to help me check the relevance of this topic.”
Firstly, they were flabbergasted because they probably haven’t had a call in a long time but they said no problem, happy to help. What is it that you want to book a meeting about? I said well we’re finding X with existing customers and a lot of organizations let this slip under the radar because they don’t realize that this is actually something that is costing them money. It’s more like a leaky bucket but it can be avoided by making a few tweaks at a pretty relatively low cost compared to the actual cost of doing nothing.
“Based on the priorities that you know that your colleague has now, what would be the best way for me to position this?” She said, “we’ve actually got a system that we’re currently reviewing, we just implemented it and it’s not working in the way that we want it to work.” I said, “ what system is it that’s not working the way that you expected it to work?”, she said, “oh well it’s supposed to be doing this and it’s not doing that so we’re having very different conversations now with the vendor to help us work out how that works and that is taking up all of his time.”
I said, “No problem. Do you mind if I let him know that we had a conversation?”
I immediately emailed my C suite contact. I can’t remember it word for word but it was something along the lines of…
I had a recommendation from your colleague in the subject title and then I explained what we had spoken about, the reason why she encouraged me to reach out to them, why I believe there is a value in a conversation in the future, set the expectation that I understand right now is not a good time but based on what we’ve uncovered so far there could be value in us speaking as I see there’s a strategic cost cutting strategy happening across the organisation and this would help you meet those objectives.
I got an email back within hours detailing and confirming what I shared with him. He also said he's tied up for the next two weeks but he’s intrigued to speak after then and he suggested a time.
It’s possible when you do the research. Those that work with me know how much I bang on about quality research.
Want to explore this further? I'm happy to have a chat - Here's my availability