Finding The Decision Maker is Critical

A number of times during the TRAFFIC conference, I was asked how I am able to close end user deals. I would never claim to be exceptional at this because I don’t do deals with end users in large quantities, I have had good luck reaching end user prospects to at least get an answer for them. I’ll share a few tips for how I find out the decision maker.

In my opinion, sending highly targeted emails is the way to go and worth the extra time. There are people out there who send hundreds of emails to a huge prospect list, but I can’t imagine that has a high success rate on a good quality domain name. If I was looking to sell, I wouldn’t send emails to speech recognition companies just because they share the word “speech.” I would send emails to companies that offer speech writing services.

Similarly, I don’t like to send general emails to companies and hope they are routed through to the right decision maker. I do research before sending emails so I can find out who the most likely decision maker is. I would always rather guess wrong about the decision maker than send an email to a general mailbox since the person I target will likely pass my message along, but a customer service agent may not do the same. I have found this research to be well worth the time.

When trying to sell a domain name to a large company, it’s likely that you’ll want to speak with a person who holds one of the following job titles:

  • Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
  • Chief Technical Officer (CTO)
  • Online Marketing Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Business Development Officer
  • VP of Sales

Some companies have positions that are similar to these positions, but I have found that these people are generally the decision makers for large companies.

When trying to sell a domain name to a small or medium sized company, it’s likely that you’ll want to speak with a person who holds one of the following job titles:

  • Owner
  • President
  • CEO
  • Director of Marketing
  • Marketing Manager

It’s very important that you are able to get in touch with these people directly. You can possibly email the wrong person and still be put in touch with the right person, but I don’t always find that to be the case, especially with a large company. When an email is routed through the customer service channel, they sometimes delete it like they would likely delete all of the spammy SEO emails that come through on a daily basis.

My feeling is that the extra time researching prospective buyers is well worth it. I might not sell a huge volume of domain names, but my success rate in contacting the right person at a company is pretty good. I attribute it more to the effort I put into contacting prospects than anything else. Unfortunately, I don’t think there are automated tools that can do this.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Hi Elliot,
    Great info! One question; do you make use of resources like to find the decision maker? If so, is it the premium membership?

    Also, great job with the rebrand!

  2. Elliot, this is a very helpful article for all of us since it gives precise information rather than leave it to be vague and lengthy.

    Hope that other domain investors and sellers can take a leaf out of this post and avoid spamming us with your crap all the time.

    And, ALEX (if you are reading this) please delete my 1000+ emails from your database.

    • You already did, Elliot, twice in your previous posts.

      Your July 9, 201 post shows how to use Whois registrant name to find email naming rule used by your target company (e.g. indicates the company uses first name @ website for their emails).

      Your January 10, 2013 post explains how to generate a list of possible Firtname & Lastname combinations for recipient’s email name.

      I also use a email address verification service (eg to confirm my guess.

      I’ve tried this approach a few times, but without success. All the emails were not returned, but I’ve heard of nothing from them. What would you do?

    • I’ve learned a few other things that I am happy to share.

      The most important thing, in my opinion, is the quality of the domain name. You can have the best sales email and send it to the correct decision maker, but if the domain name is not good enough, they probably won’t respond. For instance if you bought something like and tried to sell it to me, I would have no interest.

    • Truer words have never been spoken.

      I recently emailed the CEO’s of several different companies promoting two domains.

      The first CEO I targeted made an offer and paid $250 for those two domains that I promoted.

      Another CEO who eventually responded via email a few days after the sale, that these same domains were garbage and he wouldn’t pay even a dollar for them.

      This cracked me up. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

  3. I know E generally stays away from phone sales, however, for those of you who are comfortable making sales calls, instead of trying to contact the decision maker on your first attempt, you might actually try requesting to speak to whomever is in charge of managing the company’s website and/or domain names. (eg: webmaster, designer, server support etc) Once you are connected to the “tech” person, you will often find that they have a better grasp of the value of the domain that you’re selling compared to others in the company and will often quickly give you the “green-light” and/or directly refer you to the important decision maker to close the deal. The important thing to remember here is that closing rates are generally much higher anytime there’s a referral from one department or person to another, and this type of internal office communication has a tendency to “pique” the interest of the final decision maker than if you were to just contact them directly out of the blue. The tech person might even vouch for the value of the domain that you’re selling if it’s very high quality. This approach isn’t suitable for all situations, however, I have personally found that it’s occasionally a pretty effective strategy for small and medium-sized businesses. Just my two cents that might actually make you more than two cents.

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