So you want a sales meeting with the prospect’s CEO? Not so fast. While a decent strategy, don’t venture out when you’re not prepared. Senior executives don’t suffer sales fools, but they are susceptible to an intelligent conversation steered by an effective and prepared salesperson.
CEO’s are people like anyone else, but they carry a burden that keeps them focused on things besides the products of salespeople. What’s on their mind are risks impacting their market share, customer base, revenue stream, control of costs, retention and acquisition of top talent, achievement of quarterly numbers, their opportunity window for growth, merger or acquisition. The lists goes on.
And the salesperson wants to talk about their products? Won’t happen. At best, if the CEO is patient and civil, he or she may kindly redirect the salesperson to a lower level staff. At worst, it goes downhill from there.
There are four keys to an effective executive or CEO call:
1. Do your homework – lay the groundwork with research and preliminary conversations
2. Speak executive language – not that of your product. It’s about their issues, not about you and your fixes
3. Paint a business picture – verbally or literally of their world’s relevant challenges that you can help address
4. Get sponsorship – confirm next step meeting with their recommended team member (you’ve earned it!)
Having good executive conversations?