Selling to the C-Suite requires a completely different way of thinking. It’s not about price. It’s not about specs, performance standards, budgets or any of the other items that might be discussed on a typical sales call.
It’s all about strategic outcomes. The last thing the C-Suite wants to discuss are tactical ideas.
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Even before you start thinking about strategy, you first have to ask yourself if you have the level of trust, confidence and integrity to even be allowed into the C-Suite. People in senior level positions of any major company are not going to make time for anyone who doesn’t display trust, confidence and integrity. This is why getting to the C-Suite many times requires being referred in by another person they already trust.
After you’re in, the discussion must be 100% strategically focused about the issues that matter to them.
The last thing these people want to discuss is price, performance specs or another granular type of information. If you bring up questions or information along those lines, you’ll find yourself being sent down the ladder to somebody else in the organization. The reason is quite simple. First, people at that level don’t have time for granular type of information. Second, they don’t want to be embarrassed by being asked a basic question they can’t answer.
What does all this mean to you the salesperson?
First, it means you have to think through if the C-Suite executives are going to see what you provide as something that will help them achieve a strategic outcome. Second, you must determine if you have the integrity and trust to be viewed as someone they will talk to.
If you can’t answer both of these questions with a “yes,” then don’t even think about it, and instead look to reach out to a different level in the company where you’re trying to sell.
If you haven’t read my book High-Profit Prospecting and the chapters about selling to the C-Suite, grab a copy of it now at this link.
Copyright 2017, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.