Sales - Call High Or Low?

This is a very interesting article written by a well respected VC.


"Calling high means reaching the highest level appropriate person in an organization that you can reach to hear your pitch.... While the logic of calling high is clear I can tell you that most people – leaders and sales execs – opt for the more comfortable territory of the next layer down in the organization. I have seen countless organizations waste time peddling to companies that have no intention to buy or to prospects who have no authority to purchase."

What do you think?

While I am not a sales person, I have found it easier dealign with the lower level guy/girl, and let him do all the pitching to his/her bosses. They will typically know the boss better, and might have previous experience pursuading him/her to sign off on purchases.

hmmm... While I tend to agree with Daniel that it is easier to deal with lower level folks, I'm not sure I agree with letting the lower level person pitch the boss. The lower level, in-house person simply can't do it as well as a quality sales person should be able to, imo....

That said, I would still call low. After pitching to the low level person, I would hope to get them to champion my solution to the boss.... but just to get me in the door. Then I would commence to amazing the boss with my high-level closes that wouldn't (couldn't) work on the lower level person.

DISCLAIMER: I am not (directly) in sales either :)

After talking to our sales team, they unanimously said they goal is pitch high... call low...

especially when dealing with corporate bidding process or pitches. the low level employees sift throught companies -out of budget or those whos technology do not meet requirements. ... and then it gets passed on to higher. our sales team tries to pitch and update information at every step


Neither. Network within a prospective customers organization until you can find a "sponsor" or "coach" that can introduce and guide you to find and deal with the technical influencers, decision makers, gate keepers, and purchasers involved. Unless it is a very small system, there is rarely one person involved in the purchasing process. It's much easier when you have a "friend on the inside".

Network through LinkedIn, professional organizations, subcontractors, colleagues (if you aren't in a lead group, find one), and friends. Polish your 60 second introduction "elevator speech" and offer to assist withevaluation of their existing systems and/or layout/budgeting of a new one.

Works for me...

Starting high is great, but be prepared to start off with a very brief summary of what you are selling and why it is the best choice. If you listen, you will be able to tell whether you should expand upon your presentation, get back to them later, or request the contact information for someone further down the ladder. Even if you only wind up talking to someone further down the line you now can say you were refered by someone above them in the structure, which should help ensure that they listen to your presentation, in case they have to answer to that person later on. Plus your name now will ring a bell if the lower level kicks it upstairs.