I’ll never forget when I first began selling—many years before I was sales training in Boston. I was terrified of every single call. It was like picking up a 10,000-pound phone every single time. But after a little while, I became more comfortable making cold calls—at a certain level.
I specifically remember feeling comfortable calling people with the title of marketing manager or even marketing director, but once I saw Executive VP of Marketing or even Chief Marketing Officer, I was terrified again.
So I spent that first year calling low-level prospects that were willing to invite me in but inevitably had to get approval from their boss. Those sales mostly got lost because no decision was ever made, and I finally gave up following up.
Then I had a mentor who taught me something that changed my life forever. He said, “Marc, let me tell you something about low-level prospects. If a low-level prospect makes a decision that turns out to be great, what happens? Nobody really notices. But if a low-level prospect makes a decision that goes bad—he’s fired.”
Sales people are wasting their time with low-level prospects all day long. A low-level prospect may be willing to invite sales people in, but it’s rarely in his best interest to make a decision—assuming that he even has the authority, which he often does not.
From now on, start selling higher. In fact, sell as high as is reasonable. After learning this lesson, I began calling on CMOs and presidents. What I learned was that it takes just as much time to sell at a low level as it does to sell at a high level. But the results are astronomically different.
Do you have a success story calling on a C-level prospect? Please share below.
Marc Wayshak is the author of the book Game Plan Selling and leads sales training in Boston.