Why would a CEO speak to you?
Over the past few years authority levels to approve budgets have risen in most companies, especially big corporates. So what does that mean to you? If you aren’t dealing direct with the C-suite and/or Decision Maker then your client contact has to go to their boss, or worse, their boss’s boss, for authorisation of their spend with you. If their boss doesn’t know you and your company they are likely to ask questions such as “is there anyone cheaper?” “Have you got alternative quotes for comparison?”
If you are selling a premium quality product or service this could be bad news for you.
Even if you are providing the cheapest possible option then maybe even that’s not secure any more. With increasing competition from the Far East, Eastern Europe and South America you will still have substantially cheaper competitors entering your market.
Here are 10 tips to help you deal direct with senior decision makers.
- Can your product or service be “mission critical” to your customer?
- Talk the language of the C-suite. Otherwise they will pass you down to whoever you ‘sound’ like.
- Understand the real value of what you sell to your clients. I define value as the difference you make.
- Understand their business, their customers, their challenges, their competitors and their market dynamics.
- Do not hard-sell. Help them buy! Focus on what they might want to buy and not on what you want to sell.
- Ask great well-prepared open questions. Then listen, actively listen.
- Start strong. Your first 3 minutes in a meeting with the C-suite must be impactful and convince them that you have real value to offer and are worth continuing to talk with.
- Provide the big picture. Only go into detail if asked by the C-suite.
- Ruthlessly prepare for your meeting. Plan your opening, questions, responses to their likely questions and your objective(s).
- Put yourself in their shoes. See it from their perspective.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Chris Merrington .
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