Conducting outbound domain name sales can be a difficult practice that requires a high level of repetition to find the right techniques in order to improve. There are many resources available to find out about how to send outbound sales messages and there are even templates out there that give you an idea of what to say. Today however, I want to talk about who to send that domain sales message to. I want to start off by saying that in my experience, contacting generic “[email protected]” email addresses rarely produces a response. I would recommend taking a little extra time to find out more about the company and who to contact, rather than sending any sales email to a generic address. That’s all very well, but who do you send messages to? Small Businesses & Small Startups I’ve found that to get the best response to domain name sales amongst small business and startups, the owner/CEO is always the one to approach first. In my experience, the owners of small companies take on several roles; marketing and business development to name just two. If the name is a suitable fit for their company, the owner will usually endeavour to reply to you to enquire about the price of your domain. Bear in mind that a small business or startup will usually lack the budget for a big domain purchase, although there are always exceptions to this rule. Three to four figure domain acquisitions are usually within the realms of possibility for a small business, especially if they can be convinced that an acquisition will be beneficial for their company moving forward. Contacting the owner of a small company should be fairly easy. Their name may appear on their current website; dentists and realtors are prime examples of professions in which their name will be listed on their website. If the owner's name doesn’t appear on their website, you might try searching for reviews or web listings that may mention their name. If that fails, then perhaps phoning the company’s number could be a possibility. Medium/Large Companies Businesses with a structured staffing setup mean that it’s often more difficult to find out who to contact within the company. Typically, a medium to large business has a management team consisting of a Founder/CEO, COO (Chief Operating Officer), CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer). This can change depending on the company and their field. There are also often other leaders within the business, but these four positions are the four that will usually yield a result. However, out of the four positions mentioned above, the CMO (or VP of Marketing) is usually the best source of contact. Domain name purchases often come under the banner of marketing, and a good CMO tends to have a good grasp as to how domain names can be used. I’m sure that CMOs are bombarded with hundreds of sales pitches every month, so any domain name you’re looking to sell must be of value to that company; either a direct upgrade from their current name, or a valuable exact match .COM for a product that they sell. Depending on the price of a domain name pitched to a CMO, they might be able to offer a certain amount without the approval of the CEO or the company’s board. High value purchases tend to need the approval of senior figures before proceeding, which could take weeks to complete. Medium to large companies often have structured email protocols, meaning that if you have the CMOs first and last name, you’re likely to be able to guess their email address if it isn’t listed on their website already. The most common email addresses are: FirstName.LastName (e.g [email protected]) FirstInitialLastName (e.g [email protected]) FirstName (e.g [email protected]) You can check whether an email address is valid by using MailTester.com or a similar service. Due to the amount of sales pitches that CMOs receive, you may not get an answer. This is where calling rather than emailing could be successful. Ali Zandi (@Zandibot), Founder of Zandibot.com, often advocates calling other members of staff rather than emailing CMOs directly: "Sometimes, you can call the "lower-level" assistants as they are very eager to please their bosses. You can ask who is in charge of domain acquisitions. And if they freeze to that question, you can ask "Who's in charge of approving big purchases?". If the assistant has worked there long enough, they should know the answer to that question. It is important to call, as they can't ignore the question that way, and if you have a pleasant phone demeanor you can usually pry out a lot of information quite easily." Large Companies Companies that have thousands of employees across the globe can be the most difficult to sell to directly. Firstly, they may use a service such as MarkMonitor or CSC Global to manage their domain names, meaning that any acquisitions may be handled by those external companies. Secondly, if you do attempt to contact a member of the large company directly, who do you email? Companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Google have thousands of employees across the globe, with many employees taking on similar positions in different companies. Rather than contacting a representative of a multi-national company directly, you could consider using an established broker with existing connections to those particular organizations. Domain brokers often have key contacts within large companies and can maximize these connections to help sell your name. Ryan Colby, CEO of Outcome Brokerage told us: “It all comes down to one word: relationships.” These existing relationships can help to get decisions on domain name acquisitions from key people in multi-national companies. Do you have any suggestions for who to contact within a company? Write a comment below.