Finding Local Business Owners information

7 replies
I started a job selling advertisement ads space to local business. Once I get though the gatekeeper and talk with the business owner I can make my pitch however the problem is getting to the owner. 90% of the time the worker tell me the owner is not there.

My day goes like this:

I walk into the business and ask to see the manager. I tell the manager my name and who I am working for (it a company in the hospitality business) and they get XXX number of visitors a year and we would like to recommend our guests to your business. Are you the person I need to talk to about your marketing?

They normal say "No that is owner" Then I ask if the owner is in? "No" Then I ask for the owners email or phone number so I can speak to them about our marketing plan? "No" they say however if you leave me the information I can give it to them. I have a letter that explain our program along with the prices and sample ads which I give the manager.

I wait two days call the store. I drop off some information the other day, I would like to talk to the owner about it is he/she in. No. Can I get their email address or phone number to follow-up. No, I gave him/here the information and they will call you.

Next I go to their website to see if I can find an email address. Most sites have an email form to fill out. I fill it out and say "I dropped off some important financial information to grow your business at XYZ. If you did not get it please email me at @gmail.com.

Am I going about this the wrong way? Is there a better way to get though the gatekeeper to the owner.

Thanks for any guidance or recommendations!!
#business #finding #information #local #owners
Avatar of Unregistered
  • Profile picture of the author myob
    Keep in mind the manager/gatekeeper's primary job is to screen out pesky time-wasting salespeople, because the offers seldom are a match for the company's needs.

    Take the time to get to know the company. Use the gatekeeper to explore points of entry for your service. You also need a strong online presence - they will check you out.

    Quite often, the owner is not really the decision maker, expect perhaps for final approval after receiving strong recommendations from delegated management authority levels.
    Signature
    “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11553198].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author cyperpc
      Originally Posted by myob View Post

      Quite often, the owner is not really the decision maker, expect perhaps for final approval after receiving strong recommendations from delegated management authority levels.
      You make a good point. I know a few owner that ready do understand the daily operation of their business and they would not know if they needed XYZ.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11553281].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author LindyUK
    Banned
    Hello cyperpc

    One way of bypassing gatekeepers and going direct to the business owner is via Linkedin. You need a very professional profile and you need to make approach's in a non salesey way. Plenty of courses out there showing how to use Linkedin, or use Google to search on the subject.

    Cheers
    Lindy
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11553202].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author myob
    Do not assume gatekeepers are your enemy or an obstacle to be overcome. Gatekeepers can actually be an ally and resource as well as significant influence with the decision maker.

    Generally, a gatekeeper is an executive assistant who is highly trained to deflect calls and visitors that are unimportant. Put simply, they keep the wrong person away from the boss while allowing the right person to see their boss.

    If they get it wrong, which decision has the greater consequence? In order to reach the owner or decision-maker, you'll need to demonstrate to the gatekeeper that it will benefit their boss to speak with you.

    Personally, I do a lot of B2B cold-calling and drop-ins, but only to business owners, executives, and decision-makers for which I can readily connect with some kind of commonality. It usually begins through information provided by the gatekeeper.

    This does take patience, persistence, and lots of followup. Most salespeople never call back after the first brush-off. But if your product/service is a fit for a prospective business owner, then you may increase your odds of getting through to the decision-maker by engaging the gatekeeper as your advocate rather than an obstacle.
    Signature
    “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11553373].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author StevenTylerPjs
    Do you know the owner's first name? You can buy lists of business owners online and I don't think they're too expensive. (I haven't done it yet but it's been recommended) But that's a way to get the owners name and number.

    I saw a YouTube video where the guy was using this line: "yeah i wanted to see if John was available for lunch today, could you put me through to him?"

    He said he actually does ask, since it would basically be a sale meeting for him, but the owner usually declines anyway. He's still able to pitch his offer though since he got him on the phone. It's honestly something I probably wouldn't do, but I thought I would share.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11553400].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Originally Posted by cyperpc View Post

    I started a job selling advertisement ads space to local business. Once I get though the gatekeeper and talk with the business owner I can make my pitch however the problem is getting to the owner. 90% of the time the worker tell me the owner is not there.
    How big are these establishments you are visiting? you are saying you are talking to the worker.. when I would question if you actually are not talking to the owner. BUT you simply have not said anything that would peak their interest.

    Walking in and saying Hi, I sell ad space for company X and we get this much business would you be interested... is right up there with trying to sell cat food to dog owners. The honest truth is, even knowing their name, it wont help you.. because you simply are going to say Hi, I sell ad space for company X and we get this much business is <insert name> here to discuss this further.

    Originally Posted by cyperpc View Post

    My day goes like this:

    I walk into the business and ask to see the manager. I tell the manager my name and who I am working for (it a company in the hospitality business) and they get XXX number of visitors a year and we would like to recommend our guests to your business. Are you the person I need to talk to about your marketing?

    They normal say "No that is owner" Then I ask if the owner is in? "No" Then I ask for the owners email or phone number so I can speak to them about our marketing plan? "No" they say however if you leave me the information I can give it to them. I have a letter that explain our program along with the prices and sample ads which I give the manager.

    I wait two days call the store. I drop off some information the other day, I would like to talk to the owner about it is he/she in. No. Can I get their email address or phone number to follow-up. No, I gave him/here the information and they will call you.
    ok so the initial pitch does not peak their interest. you then hand them a piece of paper with all of the program details. Explain this process for me.... Are you handing them a folded piece of paper? are you pulling it out of a portfolio of some type? what is the quality of paper the sheet is printed on?

    ALL of these things matter... you want to be pulling this out of a nice presentation folder, or leather bound notebook type thing. You want the piece of paper you hand over to NOT be folded. You want the piece of paper you hand over to have some amount of body ( NOT copier paper ) I specifically suggest HP presentation paper. You preferably want to hand over a business card as well

    Originally Posted by cyperpc View Post

    Next I go to their website to see if I can find an email address. Most sites have an email form to fill out. I fill it out and say "I dropped off some important financial information to grow your business at XYZ. If you did not get it please email me at @gmail.com.
    First and for most you did not drop off some "Important financial information" I think its great you are using the form for a 2nd point of contact. I would suggest a softer approach...

    Hi this is <insert name> I was in your store Tuesday ( or last Thursday - be specific with the day ) and would like to touch base with the person in charge of marketing. I left a sheet about the <insert property name> ad space program. whats unique about the program is that by default we reach people that are not from the area... and are only X amount of distance from your store. Our occupancy percentage on average for the week is X% and we have X amount of rooms. If you would like further information how we can get your business in front of these people let me know < insert contact information > ( To include your phone number )

    Originally Posted by cyperpc View Post

    Am I going about this the wrong way? Is there a better way to get though the gatekeeper to the owner.
    So now lets step back to your initial contact. And we can use the e-mail as a guide to better peak the interest of the manager or owner.

    Hi my name is <insert name> I work with company X and we are located X distance away. We have a captive audience of primarily out of area visitors on a daily basis we average a X% occupancy percentage through out the week and have X amount of rooms. Would you be interested in getting your business in front of these people?

    NOTICE I did not ask to speak to anyone... I laid the pitch... if the person that you just laid that on is not qualified to make that decision.. what will they do? - they will tell you to hold on a minute and get them. OR they will say "Im sorry X is not in right now" ( giving you the name ) and YOUR response should be.. "do you expect X in today?" If they respond "no" you then ask when would be the best time to stop back by and speak to X?.

    So at this point you are speaking to who you need to, or know when and who to speak to. The last step in this is important. asking the person you are speaking with... "Can you do me a favor? I have this sheet that explains our program, can you give this to X for me?" and then add "I'm sorry for my poor manners, what is your name? Nice to meet you <gatekeepers name> I'm <insert your name> it was a pleasure talking with you, and thanks in advance for getting that to X. See you <insert day or time X will be in>"

    This way you have built a rapport with the "Gatekeeper" they are now doing you a favor... and when you go in a second time you can then say "Oh hi, <insert gate keepers name> is X in? and it changes the entire dynamic of the expereince.

    IF after the second visit you still have not made contact, i would then refer back to the e-mail appraoch.

    Hope that Helps!
    Signature
    Success is an ACT not an idea
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11553413].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author deu12000
    You can also try Manta. Search the business on there and many times it will have the owner's name. If you're visiting the business's website, you can use something like FindThatLead or Hunter.io to find an email address, they both give you free credits to get started.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11558600].message }}
Avatar of Unregistered

Trending Topics