Guide

The sales process

Make the right sales contacts

The right person to sell to usually depends on the size of the target business. Purchasing decisions in smaller businesses are often made by the owner or a managing director, but in larger companies, you may need to target several people.

It is worth carrying out some research to ensure you know who to approach before you plan your pitch.

It's generally best to aim as high up the chain as you can, although they may refer you to someone else to talk to first.

There are a number of ways to find the decision-makers in your target business:

  • Look on the internet - the target company's website may have contact details for key members of staff.
  • Telephone the business to ask who's responsible for purchasing your particular products or services. Have your sales pitch ready, in case they ask you why you are calling. See telemarketing
  • Keep an eye on the trade press - articles on potential customers will often include a quote from a senior manager.
  • Get hold of marketing literature - it can be a useful source of contact information.
  • Attend trade shows and exhibitions and speak with staff on the stands of your target customers.
  • If they are a limited company, you may be able to find details of the directors on their company stationery or through Companies House.

Before you make contact with the prospect, make sure you know what you are going to say. See how to get sales appointments.