Last post, we explored why it's usually not a good idea to begin with the purchasing department.
But there are situations when purchasing is the place to begin. Here are some considerations.
Contact the purchasing department if you cannot otherwise find the person who has AND (Authority, Need, Dollars) to make a positive decision in your field.
You can generally best do this by telephone, as you are less likely to be drawn into making a full presentation of what you are offering. This phone contact should be as short as possible, generally not more than about 30 seconds. Here's a model to adapt:
"My name is Greta Ross, and I'm with 21st Century Containers. We've developed radically new types of safety containers for shipping fragile or especially valuable items. I know that you firm manufactures computer drives, which are exactly the kind of product suitable for our containers. Who in your organization would you suggest I talk to?"
If necessary, further clarify as you "negotiate" your way to the proper Decision Maker: "From our experience, the shipping department is generally not appropriate, as the packaging choice is usually made earlier in the process."
Contact purchasing if you know that the wheels are already in motion to buy what you are offering, so the Purchasing Manager has the Authority and Dollars, and the Need has been communicated from another part of the organization.
Contact purchasing managers to get on the organization's approved list of bidders. (But don't sit around waiting for them to solicit you: continue taking active steps to meet with the appropriate managers, regardless.)