One of the most common things I hear sales people say is “Get me in front of the right person, and I can sell them.” There is no doubt that is true, but it is also true that most find it difficult to get in front of the right person, and that the best and most sought after sales people are those who can consistently get in front of that “right” person and start selling. An added challenge is that often the person they need to get in front of is an executive surrounded by layers of people making it that much more difficult to contact them.
Well there is good news, Stu Heinecke, has produced a book to help people contact and connect with the most difficult to contact people. “How To Get A Meeting With Anyone”, explores the science and art of reaching those VIP contacts you want to sell to. Stu introduces the concept of Contact Marketing; a term he brings to full potential in the book. More than a turn of phrase, it is based not only on years of real world experience, but a series of interviews with all the players involved in the passion play of contacting and selling to anyone, especially VIP’s. Stu interviewed the very VIPs in question, executive assistants, market reactionaries, marketing experts and sales experts, including myself. He then distilled this collective knowledge and experience into a must-read book for anyone who needs to contact the un-contactable to be successful in their endeavourer.
One of the most refreshing elements of the book, and a direct result of the input, is that it does not start with a bias, and then sets out to prove it, while tearing down other forms of connecting. This is not cold calling vs. social selling; direct marketing vs. inbound market. But an exploration of how these things can be combined and leveraged in a way that helps the reader learn how to get a meeting with anyone, whether they are selling or for other reasons. Beyond sales and marketing, this book delivers for business owners, or start ups who need to contact that right person to fund the next phase.
For me what makes a sales book great is when it goes beyond the concepts of what and why, and takes the extra step of showing you how, with practical real world examples. As you read, you can tell Stu has lived it and as a reader you will benefit from that. This is not only important for learning, but for doing, the book will give you the confidence to act on things you may have been afraid or reluctant to try, or more commonly, someone told you won’t work, or you can’t do. The way Stu lays it out, you discover you can and how, and if you’re willing, you’ll discover a whole new market of people others will tell you are near impossible to reach.
The book is full of clear concepts supported by “how to’s” and specific “what to do’s” cutting across current lines in the market. From building your prospect list, to crafting your message and deciding on the best medium to deliver it. As a result, it is not only a great read, but well paced, so even the most impatient sales person will find it a joy to read.
There are so many different “a-ha” moments, but for me there were a number of things that resonated and reinforced things I have believed and practiced and tried to get others to follow. One is the fact that if you want to sell to someone, especially a VIP, you need to become their peer. That does not mean you have to go out and become an executive, but understand and “live” in their world so you can relate to them, and more importantly they can relate to you. The other must-read and must-live chapter is chapter 15. Stu lays out why you need to stop thinking about the executive assistant or admin as a gatekeeper, and view them as your gateway to success in meeting with anyone.
There are two pleasant added bonuses, unique to the book, and specifically because of Stu and the fact that he is not just a proven marketer, but a cartoonist for The Wall Street Journal. First, the book has personality, one of the reasons it is such a great read. Unlike many sales books that try to be overly academic, or over the top, Stu’s style helps you connect with him and his concepts. The other are Stu’s cartoons throughout the book. They not only confirm that a picture is worth a 1,000 words, they add dimension to the concepts presented, making them easier to take in, digest, and put into practice.
If you need to contact and meet with hard to reach individuals for any reason, you need to buy and read “How To Get A Meeting With Anyone”, it will become one of your go-to manuals for having the meetings you want to have.