Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Linda Parry
About the interviewee
Linda Parry A licensed New York State Attorney with her Master’s in Advertising, Parry has a love for growing businesses. She grew up in a family-run general store, mopping the floors and helping customers at a very young age. This experience taught her more about business and life than any MBA class.
Her company, Product Launchers, (www.ProductLaunchers.co) helps inventors and fellow entrepreneurs launch their products in retail, catalogs and home shopping networks. She helps with every aspect of the process from concept development, sourcing manufacturing and packaging design to developing and executing marketing strategies, engaging in PR and personally selling retailers, catalog companies and home shopping networks.
She currently has her own product – IGotCollared detachable collars (see www.IGotCollared.com) – successfully selling through Bed Bath & Beyond and Harmon Stores, and just launched a new outdoor tossing game called Can ‘N Ball at Toy Fair 2014. It was featured on the Today Show, Fox and Playthings Magazine. See www.CanNBall.com.
Parry is an 8x marathon runner, with Boston 2013 being her last.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
We’ve work with clients as large as Wolfgang Puck, RE/MAX and Mars and as small as start-ups and family owned businesses. We prefer the start-ups with big ideas – companies that have developed DIY gourmet chocolate making kits, filtered water bottles, hair removal lotion, sandwich makers, etc. We have a network of business partners that we bring into each project as needed. They are the best of the best, and they perform or we let them go. Our core team is about 10 people. We’re based in New York.
Tell us about why it is important for your firm to reach the C-level executives as potential clients.
Only C-level executives can make decisions. They know what’s going on in the organization – areas of weakness and strength and future opportunities that they’re exploring. If you call up and speak with a gatekeeper and say, “I’d like to tell you how I can make you more money,” they’ll likely say “no thanks” and hang up the phone. If you have the ear of the executive, it’s a completely different story. They’ll likely say ok and give me 30 seconds. If you give them an idea that’s thought through, you’ll likely get an in-person appointment to further the discussion.
Why are those below C-level not as effective to reach to promote your company?
Think about the game telephone. Even if you’re dealing with a great assistant or right hand man, the message will get garbled in communication to the final contact. Not only that, but the conversation and first hand feedback that you receive from the C-level is critical to refine your pitch as you move forward to try and win that account, and others.
What techniques have you deployed to reach those C-level executives?
LinkedIn and Google are wonderful resources to find the contact’s name. Then if you know the email format, you can reach out directly. The email format can often be found in press releases circulated by the company. You can also use the dial-by-name directory to bypass the gatekeeper. Be strategic about leaving voicemails and sending emails. I only send 2-3 communications so that I don’t bombard them, BUT I may reach out 10+ times to seek to get the person on the phone. I also usually only reach out Tues-Thurs. Mondays are bad days. If it’s Friday, I’ll reach out in the morning only.