While there are many differences between elite salespeople and average salespeople, two of the more important distinctions are the ability to sell value (they can sell at a slight premium on price) and the ability to reach the top levels of the prospect’s decision-making team (typically the C-Suite).It is the second of those two distinctions that serves as the title and the focus of this blog. Average salespeople are quite comfortable and successful seeing the non C-suite members of the decision-making team. Why are salespeople so comfortable with these people? The answer is quite simple – because these people are easy to see. They offer very little resistance. So here is a general rule of thumb: the easier the person is to get in front of, the less likely they will play a significant role in making the ultimate decision. To quote Eleanor Roosevelt, “never let anyone tell you no unless they also have the power to tell you yes.”
Here are 3 keys to getting in front of senior level executives:
- You must find someone to introduce or refer you. Recent studies have revealed that 80% of senior executives when surveyed have responded that they are extremely unlikely to meet with you or return your call or reply to your email if they don’t know you and your firm. Cold calling, while for the most part is never effective is even worse when you are calling the top level of the organization.
- Brevity is beautiful. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “the most valuable of all talents is never using two words when one will do.” C-Suite executives have the attention span of an 8-year-old in front of a broken-down ice cream truck on a hot summer day. Keep it simple. Keep it short.
- Tailor your message for resonance. Are you talking about issues that matter to senior executives? Are you speaking their love language (talking about problems and solutions)? If not, you are easy to ignore.
Happy selling. I need to go. I think I hear the ice cream truck heading by our office.