Get Through to Hard to Reach People

Get Through to Hard to Reach People

I was in Atlanta this week delivering a 75-minute keynote and 60-minute breakout session to a group of seasoned business products sales professionals about how to stay relevant in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.

My favorite question was, “How can I get through to people who are unreachable — they aren’t willing to talk with you?”

Read on to discover what I recommended. (You can also listen to my actual response here.)

Be More Relevant and More Valuable

When people don’t want to talk with you, it means that what you have to say isn’t relevant to their immediate objective and priorities (remember that from the last article?)

What you have to say doesn’t matter until you figure out what is important and urgent to your target prospect. Do this by asking others who know them what’s at the top of their to-do list. If what you’re offering matches their focus, then reach out with a note, or letter, or fax, or worst case a well-crafted voice mail — forget email for right now (75% of the people who ask me to send email don’t read it based on my tracking system.)

Use the Power of LinkedIn

If you’re not connected with them on LinkedIn, ask someone who is to introduce you. Carefully craft the introduction for maximum value and impact. If you don’t have someone who can introduce you, use LinkedIn’s InMail to reach out to them. This has a lower success rate, yet still can produce results when the message is targeted and relevant.

You’re welcome to connect with me:

“Accidentally” Meet

Find out where they hang out after work, if they belong to a service club that you can visit, where they park their car at work, what charity they are part of. Some of these you can get from a Google search or their LinkedIn profile. Some you’ll have to figure out from good old fashioned detective work.

Once you figure out where to meet them, you better have a highly-relevant elevator pitch practiced and ready. Find one of the best video tutorials on this from Brian Walter here.

I know, I know, this is sometimes called stalking. Don’t do or say something stupid, like… “Want to save money?”

Use Contact Marketing

Stu Heinecke’s How to Get a Meeting with Anyone is the definitive book on how to get through. He published an article in this month’s Harvard Business Journal that outlines the basics. You’ll look smart reading the article and learn how to get that appointment.

Go connect with that hard-to-reach prospect!

Mark S A Smith

P.S. If you’d like 15 minutes to talk about how to build your customer acquisition system, go to to set up time to meet.

I’ve created an on-line training session that goes much deeper into creating value by automating the customer acquisition process without cold callingSign up here to take the class as my guest.

And you’re welcome to publish and share this with others. Just include: “Get more business-boosting ideas like this — sign up at”

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