Suppose you're a consultant looking to sell your expertise as a trainer in a certain field--- perhaps how to comply with new federal regulations, or how to improve the effectiveness of customer care departments. Since it's about training, you might think that the training department is the place to make your first contact.
Well, maybe. But, then again, maybe not.
If you are selling "packaged" training products, such as DVDs, or seminars in this year's hot topic, then it is probably productive to start with the organization's Director of Training, or Personnel Director, or Human Relations Coordinator (or similar titles, depending on the organization).
They may have Authority, Need, and Dollars for things like that, particularly if your product focuses on areas that have had a lot of publicity, such as employee safety practices.
But suppose instead you are selling not packaged products but rather your consulting services as an expert on this topic (for illustration, employee safety practices).
Or suppose you don't think much of the packaged (or "canned") safety training programs that are on the market, and propose to develop custom training specifically for this organization.
In that case, the Training Department might be a dead end. The Training Director probably does not have the Need to improve safety — at least in any novel way.Thus your best approach would be to bypass the Training and Personnel Departments and find your way to the manager who does have a real reason to be concerned with safety. This may be the company president, who has an incentive to lower insurance costs, or it may be the plant manager.