So you have your list of ABM accounts and you are ready for the next step… This is where you have the opportunity to become a super sleuth. Or, more prosaically, you start to do your research.
Within each organisation on your list you will have an idea of the job titles you most want to build a relationship with. You will almost certainly want to focus on decision makers – so C-Suite and Director level – but don’t discount anyone who might be a person of influence, an expert who a more senior individual might call on for advice. For us, it might be something like this:
Director of Procurement
Obviously this takes some thought and discussion within your team and it will be different for everyone depending on your sector, product and/or service.
From here you will need to find names to go with the job titles. LinkedIn is a good place to start, although there is nothing wrong with calling the company and asking directly, if that’s what it takes. Unless you are targeting MI5, they are unlikely to be cagey about such information.
Once you have a list of names the real research begins. Again LinkedIn is your friend. It’s a good idea to take a look at their career history - what was their path to this current role? Where have they worked before? Which other sectors? What did they study and are there any obvious areas of special interest?
Always keep in mind any points of connection with anyone in your own organisation...or among your existing clients? Did they work somewhere that one of your own employees previously worked? Do they have an MSc in a field that your brother works in? Have they just transferred from the sector your biggest client currently dominates…? Where did they go to school? Never forget that you are dealing with multifaceted individuals and although your primary objective is to sell to them, you also want to be able to give them something useful and make the process enjoyable for them. In order to do this, you need to know them well.
With this in mind, it is worth checking if they have open Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts as this is where you will discover more about them as people – their interests and values. What if they are in to food and wine in a big way and it just so happens your CEO is an amateur food writer? What sports are they into? Which teams do they support?
Back to LinkedIn – do you have any connections in common? Anyone you could ask for an introduction or ask for a bit of insight?
All these things will help build up a picture. Of course you will need to do this for each of the chosen individuals within each of companies on your list...but it is work worth doing. People buy from people – a cliché but a cliché for a reason. It’s true. The more you know about the individuals behind the job titles, the more you will be able to relate to them when the time comes and to genuinely be of help and service, thus ensuring a mutually beneficial relationship.
For help with how to start your ABM project, contact us today to organise a call with one of our Directors.