How to Always Get Through to the Ultimate Decision-Maker

If you read any list of “problems” faced by salespeople and marketers, you will always see “Reaching the real decision maker” somewhere near the top of the list.

I have always found this amusing because the moment you reach anybody in a company you have reached the “ultimate decision maker.”

At this point you’re probably scratching your head and thinking “Erik’s talking silly again,” so let me back up a bit and make it easier.

Obviously we need to speak with or get our message through to the person who has the authority to buy our product or service. That is a given.

Obviously, we want to “get in to” the company at the level of that ‘authority-person’ or as close as possible. No one wants to work their way up from the mailroom to the CEO’s office.

The problem I see is this mis-belief that the ‘authority-person’ is the ultimate decision maker.

The ultimate decision maker is not a person!

The ultimate decision maker is a process!

Now you really think I’m nuts, but stay with me.

Let’s say you want to speak with the CEO of a company. He is always busy,rarely at the office, has an un-findable phone number and a dedicated assistant who protects her boss vigilantly.

You have sent letters. Dead end.

You have stopped into the office. Dead End.

You have reached out on Linkedin. Dead end.

You have tried people he is connected to. Dead End…..

You just can’t get passed his assistant.


Because you’re ignoring the first “ultimate decision maker.”

You see the CEO is busy and has lots to think about. So he has actually subconsciously handed off part of his ‘thinking’ to his assistant.

He has entrusted her to know what is worth is his attention.

Her mind is one of HIS mental filters!

Every time you try to get around her you are ignoring part of the CEOs thinking process!

You already are where you want to be, you just didn’t see it!

So you’re job is not to get “around” the assistant, but it is also not to get the assistant “on your side” with fake charm and cheesy smiles.

You’re job with the assistant is exactly the same it will be once you are speaking to the CEO: Determining if there is a fit and any reason to proceed.

Instead of asking how to speak with the CEO or how to leave a message for the CEO or (fill in the blank with any idea for getting around the assistant) engage the part of the CEOs thinking he has already handed over to his assistant.

How could you possibly do this? Well here’s an idea.

  • Call and ask to speak with the CEOs assistant. Not the CEO.
  • Be honest and tell her briefly what you do and why you think you need to speak with the CEO.
  • ACKNOWLEDGE her role and tell her you understand that she has been given the job of determining what is and is not worth the CEO’s attention.
  • (this is the REALLY IMPORTANT part) Ask her what her CRITERIAis for determining what is valuable for the CEO to see, because you want to make sure that you meet that criteria.
  • Then wait for her reply.

In most cases you will get silence.

This is because THEY HAVE NO CRITERIA!

The CEO did not give them specific guidance, so they have just been ignoringalmost everyone and everything without reason.

Once they are confronted with the fact that they have no criteria, they will realizethey have no reason to keep you from the CEO and will (most likely) let you through.

The first “ultimate decision maker” has made a decision:

You may enter.

And now you can talk to the CEO.  Too bad he isn’t the “ultimate decision maker” eitherbut that is another story….


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5 Habits for Every Small Business on Social Media

For small businesses, getting started on social media may be daunting. With dozens of outlets and billions of users throughout the world, social media can seem overwhelming. However, if used effectively, social media has the power to enhance relationships with your current customers and drive new ones. So, whether you’re just getting started, or have been in the social media sphere for years, it is important for small businesses everywhere to remember these simple steps.

1. Engage: Don’t talk at your customers, talk with them.

Sometimes businesses use social media to push agendas rather than engage with customers. To grow your fan base and be successful on social media, remember to facilitate conversation as you would in person. You wouldn’’t tell your customer about every coupon or deal you’’re running over the next two months while you’’re face to face, right? So don’’t do it on social media. Instead, share interesting and relevant content, give specific calls to action, and ask questions! Not only will you get more comments, shares, and likes, but you will maintain and strengthen customer relationships!

2. Respond: Listening is just as important as what you’re saying.

Ever try to contact a company with a complaint, concern or even a nice comment and never hear back? Frustrating, right? Surprise your customers and respond to all their comments, even the bad ones! Though that might seem time consuming, the more frequently you respond on social media, the more credible you will become. Take at least 15 minutes each day and respond to your customers’ Facebook comments and tweets. Be personable, be transparent, and reach out to as many people as possible. Thank your customers and fans for their responses, address issues publicly, showcase your gratefulness for their loyalty, and watch the fans pour in.

3. Give out occasional freebies. 

It’s simple: everyone loves free stuff. Periodically, use social media to give your fans some perks. If you have local dentist practice, give away free whitening strips to the first 5 customers who retweet you. If you run a local pizza shop, give a complimentary small pizza if they like you on Facebook. These small and relatively inexpensive gestures can be the initial hook for a fan. You then want to keep them hooked with consistent, engaging content.


4. Share Visuals: Everyone loves pictures and videos!

Social media has become a platform for great visuals. Just look at the growing success of Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine in the past few years. As a small business, use this visual trend to your advantage! Take a picture of your staff hard at work, or a video of a customer enjoying your product and post it to Facebook.  It’’s quite simple. Pictures not only make for great content, but they also personalize your pages. When someone scrolls through their newsfeed, they are more likely to like or comment on a post with picture/video of your product or service, than a simple text update. Remember: show, don’’t tell your customers how great your business is!

5. Be yourself. 

Last, but certainly not least, just be you. Much more so than traditional marketing or advertising, social media allows you to exhibit your company’’s personality to the masses. Customers love connecting with personable brands. Imagine everything you are saying on social is actually a face-to-face conversation with a fan of your brand. Find ways to showcase the core values of your business. Tell jokes, share insight, ask honest questions, and be true to your company’’s culture. Your fans will appreciate your authenticity.


Thank you to our friends at LikeableLocal for this content!unnamed


And the award goes to…


The New York Business Expo & Conference has been rated the number two business event of 2016! BizBash has added us to a list of meetings, events and expos that have caused great impact in New York City over the last year and we are honored to be a part of it!

Each year we bring our best educators out to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to help small and midsized businesses improve their craft, and grow their business.

Our one-day educational and networking conference is one of the largest of its kind, a must see! Learn more about New York Business Expo & Conference, as well as our other shows at



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