This month, the Cause Marketing Masters Webinar was a moderated conversation with Kerry Steib, Director of Social Impact for Spotify and Scott Welch, Global Corporate Relations Manager for Columbia Sportswear Company. Below is just a small part of what they discussed in this month's webinar (always free to CMF Members or $99 for nonmembers. Click here to access.)
OUTREACH STRATEGIES: COLD CALLS, LINKEDIN AND OTHER DOOR OPENERS
One of the most frequently asked questions we get at the Cause Marketing Forum is, “How do I get in the door to a corporate prospect?”. Getting a foot in the door is sometimes a tricky proposition. Here are a few tips from our panelists about the best ways to refine your approach.
Send emails to every member of an executive team or multiple departments. It’s inefficient and annoying. Word gets around internally and you end up doing yourself more harm than good. Approach individuals one at a time. If you’re not getting a response, then switch gears and move on to another individual. But, please, no spray and pray approaches.
Pretend to know people you don’t. You’ll inevitably be discovered.
Get angry, impatient or short. Just because a company isn’t able to support you in a particular moment, that doesn’t mean you won’t have a moment in the future.
Figure out who you know that knows someone in the company. This could be an employee, a vendor, a retailer. Even a lower level employee can be a relevant foot in the door. Having those partners make an ask on your nonprofit’s behalf will probably get that door opened more quickly.
Ensure that you’re connecting to the business drivers of the company. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to lead with your understanding about what’s important to the business.
Understand the company’s business cycle, including budgeting. Some times of year are better than others to approach a particular company.
Keep in touch with relevant information that adds value to your potential partners and providing subject matter expertise.
Worth a Shot
Cold calls. While many large companies get huge amounts of cold emails and phone calls, you just never know when a well-placed call will open the door to a new relationship if the timing and fit is right. According to our panelists, this really varied by company.
LinkedIn requests. See cold calls above. Be selective, be educated and put the business drivers first.
What are your best tips for getting corporate doors opened? Share them in the comments below!