Reaching the Decision-Makers

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"Reaching the Decision-Makers"

Question: "Who are the decision-makers, and how do we get to them? Secondly, what are the real needs of these people, and how do we address their needs more quickly?"

Answer: In most companies, there is a sales organization and a separate marketing organization, headed by two different people. The sales and marketing departments have many needs including timely, accurate feedback on products and marketing and sales campaigns. There is a need for quantitative and qualitative information on competitive products in different markets. Of course, there is always a need for new ideas on how to improve sales and marketing programs.

The decision-makers vary by organization and type of decision. In general, the vice president/senior vice president of marketing and sales are the key decision-makers relative to budgets, promotions and hiring new vendors. The product manager may also play a significant role, especially in a smaller company.

There are a number of ways to get to the decision-makers. One way is through introductions, either from customers, other senior managers in the company, other professional acquaintances or friends. Another way is by providing original creative materials that demonstrate your understanding of their business. These can be sent to the decision-maker or someone else in the organization.

Adviser: Brian Ruder is a senior consultant with ECO-D, an Oregon consulting firm that helps startup companies develop winning business and marketing plans.

Submit your question via e-mail to editor@lowe.orgor snail mail at Entrepreneur's Adviser, The Edward Lowe Report, 303 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 227, Chicago, IL 60601.

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