Thursday, October 9, 2008

Reaching the C-suite Executive: Thought #3

If you hare a product or service which needs to get the approval of a C-level executive you know it is often a struggle to get that door to the corner office open. For some of us, it is not that purchasing, procurement, finance, it and marking managers are not important but if you are out there selling solutions that require corporate change you will need total approval at the C Level. Take my business for example, we are asking a company to make a major shift to outsource some of their sales efforts to streamline the lead generating process so there sales people can spend more quality time selling rather that prospecting and keeping the funnel and pipeline full. That takes C Level approval my friend.

There is a catch 22 going here though, if you annoy this level you could be banished from ever having a shot at presenting to them (banishment usually lasts 2 years or so) but if you do nothing and doesn’t some how, in some pay get your message though to the corner office, you will be lost in obscurity.

Ahh such a dilemma before you. Advance, retreat or do nothing. If you still what to move forward do some homework on the company and person you are about to assault. Don’t waist your time or more importantly their time! Know; truly know that your product will really fulfill their needs.

Look at this picture this is why you might want to spend a little more time, effort and money (?) per touch that the typical prospect. Spending more here is rally quite justified simply because of what is at stake here, the fact that the odds are higher and your prospects at this level are fewer and father between than your typical prospect list. They pay back is that if successful, the dollars involved are higher, they have the power to shorten your sales cycle (you do know what that is don’t you?) and they can take you to the or put you in touch with the correct person (with their approval) who handles that area of their company.

If you ant to approach the C Level Executive make it as personal as you can no matter what method(s) of marketing and sales efforts you use. Talk to there needs and objectives, you can not be general here. What they are facing is unique, more so than lower level managers. You have go do your research.

At the same time remember that the list (yes with me is always in the list) you ant the best prospects that fit your company the best. You want to look at your present customers, and see what company attributes they have as a group so you can identify the best new prospects all with similar needs and traits to help you in determining the ones that warrant the higher level of investment of time and money you will need to be putting in.

Larson note: These guys are the heaves. What they say goes. You need to be ready to speak with them as an equal. You need to be ready to speak with them about there needs and what challenges they are facing. I might go so far as to sugest you take a step back and read the book Selling to VITO, Very Important Top Officers to get an even better handle on how to sell to the upper level C-Level Executives.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Telesales & Target Marketing Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

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