Put the prospecting process you’ve been using on the shelf. It’s not going to work when it comes to trying to reach the CEO or any other senior level person.
Before proceeding, here are 5 things you need to know:
1. Be strategic, not tactical.
Lower down in an organization, people think tactically in terms of how something works. At the senior level, people think strategically. They look less at the how and more at the why and the outcome.
2. Talking price will get you nowhere.
Price is not something that concerns CEOs and senior management. If they want something, they’ll buy it. If you come in talking price, they will throw you out to the purchasing department as fast as they can.
3. Talk about outcomes, not features.
CEOs couldn’t care less about features. To them thinking about features is something far below their pay grade. CEOs are concerned about the outcomes. Show the CEO how they will be able to achieve their strategic objectives and you’ll be having a meaningful discussion with them.
4. Make it safe for them.
The last thing the CEO wants to be is embarrassed about being drug into a conversation that will put them on the spot about something they don’t have an opinion on. Talking geek, technical, or anything else that may not be comfortable to the CEO will end quickly with you being sent unceremoniously to the department that will understand the language you’re using.
5. Display “peer confidence,” but never upstage the CEO.
CEOs don’t have time to spend with people who don’t understand the challenges they face. CEOs and for that matter all C-level people live in a bubble dealing nearly exclusively with others of their stature. If you want to communicate with them you have to be seen as one of them.
There they are, the five things you need to do differently to reach senior level peopleFor more great prospecting tips, check out Breakthrough Sales University.
Copyright 2015, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.