Top 10 Ways to Engage Senior IT Executives When They Just Changed JobsPosted: March 7, 2012
When a top decision maker changes jobs it is usually a strong signal to engage this person in a business conversation because your chances of success are that much higher. The reasons are simple:
Change is in the air. New executives tend to audit what they’ve inherited, and as they are charting their course going forward they tend to be more open to contacts with trusted advisors.
Strong personal relationships are disrupted. Pre-existing vendor client relationships are not as strong, and the time around appointments/promotions are some of the best entry points into a new account
Blind spot for other salespeople. The news and hence new contact details (emails, phone numbers) have not yet percolated throughout all sales lists and contact databases therefore the amount of inbound email and phone solicitations are not as large.
Personal ego. Most likely they were hired with a mandate to change things around, they want to make a name for themselves therefore they are likely to do something new.
Here is list of top 10 action items you could use to fully leverage the insights about career changes of IT executives:
1. Email – send a congratulatory email to the IT executive who was recently promoted or newly appointed.
2. Phone call – just pick the phone and call to congratulate the person on the career move. The script could be along the lines: “I’ve noticed in the news the announcement of your recent promotion and just wanted to tell you how happy we are to hear about your success…”
3. Event – you can invite them to an industry event your are sponsoring or speaking at: Gartner, InterOp, Evanta, ComputerWeek or others.
4. Webinar – invite then to a webinar you are hosting. The invitation could be along the lines: “John, we’ve noticed you recently assumed an important role at the company and we hope you will join your peers at the webinar we hosting on a topic that would be certainly important in your IT strategy”.
5. Gift – send a gift. It could be as little as a classy business card holder with personal note, or as large as a bottle of wine. Be mindful that what you say in the gift card could be more important than the gift itself.
6. Peer feedback – invite your current client who is a peer to the newly appointed executive to reach out and congratulate them on your behalf.
7. Letter – with so many filters, from personal assistants to email filters, it is difficult to get through. Try sending a personal hand written note, it will surely stand out and more likely to get noticed.
8. Face-to-face – invite them to a face-to-face meeting. Depending on the stature at the firm it could be as informal as a coffee (“I am in town meeting clients and would like to touch base with you on your IT strategy going forward.”) or as serious as a steak dinner.
9. Appointment – ask for an appointment in a smart way: “Mary, I’d like to congratulate on your recent appointment. As you may know, a number of companies similar to your are our clients and we’ve done truly impactful solutions for them in the field of _____ which, no doubt, would be one of your focus areas going forward. Would you have 10min next week for a brief phone call? I am available on…”
10. White paper – send them a white paper that is relevant referencing their new role, current mandate, previous positions, etc.