Top 5: What Does & Doesn’t Work when Selling to L&D by Jae-ann Rock

Posted on Nov 9, 2022 in Blog, Meeting/Event Planning, Training and HR

What works today in marketing outreach to corporate Learning & Development decision makers – and what DOESN’T?

We did some research about the current state of selling and marketing to the L&D sector and identified several trends about how buyers like to be contacted. It’s good to know what L&D buyers think about the outreach efforts of companies that contact them.  

Did you know that many L&D professionals receive 3-6 cold outreach marketing emails per day, but not many phone calls? So, what works when marketing/selling to L&D? Let’s review some of the findings…

Top 5 – What DOES work? 

  1. Email – For cold outreach, emails are preferred. But people are very unlikely to schedule a meeting based only on a cold email outreach. You must provide content-based, valuable information before trying to book a meeting. (Need more decision-maker leads with email addresses? Give us a call.)
  2. Video – Most people prefer self-serving content via marketing videos to learn about the solution and see if it might work for their situation. 
  3. Case Studies – Case studies work well by explaining certain situations the buyer can read about and learn how a solution went into place to resolve a challenge. That helps buyers determine if the solution might work for their needs. 
  4. Self-Serve Content – Overall, effective marketing includes any content that can be accessed by the buyer in their own time to determine the value of the offering and if it applies to their situation. 
  5. Know Your Buyer* – Learn about your buyer. Do your research beforehand. Find out what they’re responsible for. Ask “I saw your title was Direct of Training – what does that really look like? What are some of the challenges you face?” If you determine that’s not the right person for your solution, try to get referred internally to the person who actually IS responsible for what you’re offering. 

Top 5 – What Doesn’t work?

  1. LinkedIn Cold Outreach – People using LinkedIn connections as a form of cold sales outreach does not work and actually turns people off. Most people immediately disconnect from people who try to sell them something immediately after connecting. 
  2. Name-dropping – Contrary to popular belief, name-dropping isn’t always a great marketing/sales technique because that company’s situation might not be relevant to the prospect’s specific situation. Each company is different. Again, don’t assume that just because a company is in a similar industry, or a person has the same title, their challenges and needs are the same.
  3. Making Assumptions – Do not make any assumptions based on a person’s title! Reaching out to someone based solely on their title is not only ineffective, but it can be a huge turnoff. “If you don’t know what I do, don’t assume based on the title. Instead, ask what are some of the challenges I’m facing, what I’m responsible for, etc.” Salespeople often make assumptions regarding what a person is responsible for based on just their title. Don’t do this. Instead, find out what they’re responsible for. What matters to them? What keeps them up at night? 
  4. Using only 1 approach – Using a multi-pronged approach of emails, phone calls, and direct mail including value-added content works well to gain people’s attention and share information about your solution. Then, when they’re ready to buy – they will call you first. 
  5. Selling too Soon – Don’t sell hard on the first phone call or email outreach. Build a rapport and learn about your buyer’s needs, challenges and pain. Then discuss ways your solution can help resolve those challenges. Remember, no one likes a pushy salesperson.

A word about “Know Your Buyer.” It’s hard to know what a person is responsible for just based on their title.  Instead of digging for the “right” contact, did you know there is a hand-built targeted database with the exact decision-makers responsible for buying exactly what you’re selling?  

By using the Mentor Tech Group database of 40,000+ training & HR decision-makers, you’ll actually KNOW what a person’s area of responsibility is. No more guessing base on title! (Call us with your segmentation parameters and we will provide a custom quote for you.)

HOW is this possible? 

Because our process is totally unique. We call it our “secret sauce.” Our team speaks with every contact in our database via personal phone call, allowing us to gather information about a person’s specific Job Function and their area of responsibility in the organization. This is highly unique! No one else does this! 

Using this information, you’ll never have to “guess’ about someone’s responsibilities again! You will know exactly what they are in charge of. 

And, this information not only helps you, but it also helps us determine if a contact meets the criteria to be included in our decision-maker database. Then, instead of sorting our database by nebulous job titles, we are now able to sort our data in the best way possible – by these Job Codes. This allows us to identify contacts with certain specific responsibilities within an organization.  (Sample MTG Job Codes can be found HERE.) 

And with an average four-month change rate in Training and HR of 33+% how can your team ever keep up? When you invest in the MTG database, we provide FREE updates every four months! Stop wasting your team’s time when the hard work has already been done for them. Invest in a resource that provides exactly what you need – a regularly updated data source of targeted decision-makers with the right areas of responsibility in L&D! Imagine that.

So look no further when searching for decision-maker contacts in Training & HR who are responsible for BUYING what you’re SELLING. It’s simple. We have more than 40,000 decision-maker contacts you NEED to succeed.

Contact Mentor Tech Group today at (651) 457-8600, Ext. 1 – or email us at

See what makes our service so different and highly valuable.  And ask about our free 4-month updates


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