I recently had a coaching session recently with a partner who asked me some questions and my thoughts on each question.  His first question was:

How do you ensure you are getting to the key decision makers and approaching the opportunity in the ideal way?

To determine who the right decision makers are I did detailed research. I also liked to have a “coach” (someone who could guide me) either in the company or more often in the industry association. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the company strategy and as much as I could about the decision makers.

Years ago I conducted workshops for the construction industry. I mailed out brochures for the workshop and even had an ad in Roads and Bridges magazine. I found those who attended my workshops were not the decision makers. I changed my strategy to offering to do in-house workshops for individual potential contractor clients. That was way more effective.

To be best able to approach  the opportunity in the right way, you have to figure out what the client perceives is the right way. That requires asking good questions, listening and being able to put yourself in your client’s shoes.