Many years ago, I received some of the best sales advice from a vice-president when he said, "Only meet with decision-makers." Time and again it has proven among the most valuable pieces of sales advice.
Now I'm not suggesting your ignore all the other influencers, champions, sponsors, foxes and what-have-you... they too make decisions about you and your relationship. Ascertaining your value in each relationship is as easy as seeing to whom they introduce you. Your goal should be to connect with those VIPs in power and those who can take you anywhere you desire in their organization.
Getting to those VIPs and connecting with them requires concerted effort starting with identifying the contacts with whom you wish to connect, defining their personal and professional drivers, and sharing your intel with your extended sales team. This last step is far too often overlooked - as one of your colleagues or connections can help you in ways you may not even know. Background, insights and introductions all matter and help create productive meetings that are valuable for sales professionals and clients alike.
Here's a quick video that lays out each step in this process. It's deceptively simple, but it does take effort.
Selling starts with effective planning. Connecting with the right people, and having the right conversations is up to you.
Do your homework, prepare, practice and go make it happen.