QUESTION: In making calls in the technical sales area we are running into a few problems.  We are having problems getting phone numbers for some that work remotely, like territory and regional managers, also getting sales people with a manager title that do not manage people. We have ended up with 30+ resumes of candidates making $200,000 to $300,000 in base salaries which are not the ideal level of candidates to MPC. In your experience what size of companies did you target and what titles or levels did you target with your flip calls?  How did you get the contact numbers for them?  – Jim, Houston, TX

ANSWER: My target was companies less than $250 million in revenue, and we did technical sales in the technology space in a very defined niche. A targeted company with less than $250 million in revenue, our biggest clients revenue wise, that gave us $200,000 or $300,000 a year in searches were probably under $75 million in revenue or maybe $100 million in revenue, little HR infrastructure, paid retainers, and startups. Too many recruiters buy all of these stories I hear from people about being a start-up so they cannot afford to pay a retainer, what happens is you end up buying it. The fact of the matter is they cannot afford to leave the position open.   

If I had somebody making $200,000 to $300,000 base salaries and they had a phenomenal background, I would be emailing the value they can add and what they can do for the organization to the CEO, possibly even the chairman of the board or directors. If they do not need a C level or a V level individual, I can at least engage that person in a conversation at the C level, and a lot of times I picked up sales openings by talking to the CEO about a VP of sales that either was not a fit or that they did not need, but because the VP of sales background was so compelling the CEO set up a call with me. So you may want to look at using that as an avenue.  

I always advise to use researchers to get phone numbers. Can you get it all the time? With a technical sales person, when you call a company, I would get a little bit belligerent. I would never lie and say that I was with some widget company.  I said I am a consulting company with Hudson Consulting and your company’s product has been specked into a project we are working in on Los Angeles. It is actually true, by the way, if you analyze those words. I just was the consultant and I specked the salesperson in. What is the best way for me to get a hold of the individual in Los Angeles as I want to reach out to him to see if you guys are qualified to help us with the opportunity we are working on.  

If they respond that they do not give out phone numbers, I would challenge them by saying “Really? You are a sales organization and you do not allow people to contact your sales representatives? Well, you know, I have been able to get this information from other companies. You are telling me you are not going to allow me to contact your sales representative. This does not pass the test of reason. 

You sound like you belong there, so that is one of the ways to get phone numbers. There are a bunch of trainers that talk about this. Talk to other departments, call accounts payable, especially if you have a name but do not have a phone number, and ask, “How do I get a hold of Mary Smith in Los Angeles? I do not have any contact information on her.” Maybe you get an email which can start the dialog.  

What titles or levels did I target with my flip calls? I targeted C level all the way down to director. You may call a director and the director does not hire anyone, as you found out, that you mentioned. That happens once in a while. But now if they are a person with director of sales title that does not hire anyone, what they are is a director of sales probably for a territory. Now you are at least talking to a fantastic potential MPC or somebody for one of your searches. Those are a couple ideas.