Here is a sales tactic that is perhaps new to a few. I’ve shared this method with a few people, as it seems that the “work backwards” sales technique I developed organically is, to some, “revolutionary.” (My friend Jeff said I should register or apply for a patent.)
Here’s how it works. Find the end buyer of your product or services. Now work backwards in their chain of business to discover the opinion leader or champion. Sell to that opinion leader, and now you have a point of familiarity (their name, referral) all the way back up the chain – influencing your end buyer to engage you.
Here’s an example. I once found a band that impressed me enough to manage them. I researched the multiple music markets in which they might fit (college market, club scene, headliner acts, etc.) and I then found the associations supporting those markets to quickly determine the “key players” in the market (hint: they were board members of their respective industry associations).
So I called the 2-3 players with whom I had ANY loose connection to (in this case, the programmers of venues I’d attended) and asked them which agents they trusted most, using this question, “If you were in a tough booking situation, i.e. an act canceled last minute, which agent(s) would you trust to deliver an act that was spot-on for your venue?” I got them to tell stories of their “pain” and surmised how they often had to try and minimize their losses by providing a quality act to whom their audience would enjoy equally as much as the act that canceled.
These venue managers happily suggested their favorite agents names – and I waited for a names that came up repeatedly. I called those agents, noting that “X venue manager speaks very highly of you and suggested you’d be the best person to talk to regarding my act.” The act I represented was then put at the top of the consideration pile – and soon enough I had agents competing for the opportunity to represent them (a testament to the act’s talent).
Part luck, part hard-work, part talent – that act soon became the #1 booking act in two markets, in less than a year. Incidentally, the act is N7. They’ve been opening for Michael Bublé for years now and I have the privilege to still be on the U.S. team that coaches their climb to the top.