Most sales people logically understand that they would make larger sales and far more money if they sold to people in the C-suite, but they rarely sell at that level. Those sales people that do sell at the highest level often outperform everyone else combined. Remember, the CEO has the decision-making authority and can always pull together a budget if the project is important to her. So, start selling at that level.
Here are three tips to selling at that level:
1) Get Over Your Fear, He’s Lonely Up There: Most sales people are simply uncomfortable calling that high. It pulls them out of their comfort zone to call a CEO. I hear excuses all day long during my sales training about how CEOs are unreachable, blah, blah, blah. The reality is that CEOs are often easy to get through to and usually have more time to talk than a typical over-worked, under-paid ‘buyer.’ Just call very early or very late. The CEO will probably be there and waiting to chat.
2) Cloud Call: If you are making cold calls to low-level people, you’re wasting your time. Low-level people may be willing to engage you in conversation, but rarely can they make decisions. Instead, start making Cloud Calls—cold calls at the highest reasonable level. The return on your time by making very high-level calls will be far greater than calling low-level prospects.
3) Think C-Level: If you are going to sell to the C-suite, then you are going to have to think and talk like them. For example, let’s say you sold promotional products to large companies. When you sell to a marketing director, you will talk about company apparel and giveaway products. However, when you sell to a CEO, those topics are below his radar. Instead, you would have to start talking about issues related to company branding and market perceptions of that company. Those are the issues that keep the CEO up at night.
Follow these three tips to selling at the highest possible levels.
How do you sell to the C-suite? Please share below:
Written by Marc Wayshak, author of the book Game Plan Selling. which shares the sales system developed through his sales training in Boston.