The key to success in sales isn’t just getting in front of the right people. The key is to make sure you’re interacting with executive decision makers in a way that positions you as a trusted advisor rather than just another salesperson in their inbox.
When you’re trying to win business from executives, especially in the C-suite, it’s important to know how to engage with them in a meaningful way that adds value to their day. Otherwise, you risk being seen as a nuisance that has taken their time without truly solving any of their problems.
Here are five things you should aim for when selling to executive decision makers:
1) Have a warm introduction through a mutual connection.
Getting on the calendar of an executive decision maker can be tough and, at times, intimidating. A great way to get off on the right foot is by having a warm introduction through a mutual connection. Search your connections and see if you have anyone who crosses both of your networks that would be willing to introduce you.
2) Follow a formalized sales process to avoid deviating from your message.
Everyone in the C-suite follows a certain protocol. Their time is short, and wasting that time can leave them seeing you in a negative light. Following a formalized process will help ensure that you are heard and shows that you appreciate the time they are taking to meet with you.
3) Practice your presentation.
Executive decision makers are constantly being inundated with sales pitches, so you need to make a great first impression. Your presentation must be polished and well-rehearsed. If the person you are speaking to is already familiar with your product or service, focus more on them and how you can solve their problems rather than on your pitch.
4) Work to truly understand the potential client’s pain and how and if your solution solves their problem.
Executive decision makers love a good solution, so you need to be sure you have one. If there is no pain or problem for your services to solve, pitching to them will only position you and your brand in a bad light. You only get one chance at a first meeting, so be certain that you have something of value for them. Otherwise, it’s better to wait until you do.
5) Provide concise solutions that connect the dots.
Executive decision makers are always looking for concise solutions. To build a streamlined solution, you need to fully understand the client’s pain and how your product or service can solve it. Don’t overwhelm them with a laundry list of features – be clear about how your product or service helps provide a more efficient process overall.
It’s not easy to win business from executives. It’s tough to get on their calendar and even tougher to recover from a poorly conducted sales call. But if you follow these five simple rules, your chances of success will be much higher than they would otherwise be. Want to develop better sales skills for yourself or your team? Contact us about a custom solution so you can hit your targets every quarter.