Are all of your sales trainings about getting connected to the CEO? Or providing an update on the product you’re selling? Maybe even sales strategies, like the best way to make a cold call?
All of these are important, don’t get me wrong.
BUT WHAT IF you’ve already made it to the CEO, then what? What if you crushed your first line, and then you have no idea what to say next? Why doesn't any training go over what to do when you get the response, or even better, a meeting?! You're just left high and dry expected to figure it out.
We've all had it happen, even here. Let me set the stage...
This one magical day...the sun was shining...birds were chirping...we decided to throw a hail mary and cold e-mail Ford CEO, Jim Farley...never in a million years thinking we'd get to him...we were hoping just to get to his assistant or someone that works for him. BUT, guess what team? HE ANSWERED!!
So, now what?
Jeffrey Gitomer, an author, speaker, and business trainer has some great insights on what to do after you get connected with that one person you’ve been searching for. The article Jeffrey Gitomer published provides us with 7.5 things that CEOs are interested in talking about. So, what you need to do once you're IN that meeting. You read that right, 7.5, and don't sleep on the last one - it's probably my favorite one!
1 - Productivity.
2 - Morale and attitude. 3 - Loyalty of customers. 4 - Loyalty of employees. 5 - Competition. 6 - Market conditions/the future. 7 - Profit. 7.5 - Intellectual exchange.
Feel free to read the whole article and get some more great insights, but we’re going to expound on intellectual exchange.
In the article, Gitomer says:
“Most CEOs are smart people. They like talking to smart people – people that make sense, provide value, offer useful information, and want a relationship (not just a sale). Is that you?”
The last thing we would want is to FINALLY get in that meeting with the CEO and provide her with zero valuable information and/or waste her time. To avoid that, prior to the meeting, we need to do our research and get an understanding of what problems the company is facing, and then try not to talk too much - start a conversation and let them talk. Do exactly what Gitomer said, build a relationship with her.
Being a good salesperson is so much more than just making the sale. It means you need to be seen as a partner and trusted advisor to potential customers, don't just keep pushing your product, and talking about yourself or your organization over and over again. CEO’s want information they’ve never heard before, and to feel like you’re there for more than just your commission paycheck. So challenge her intellectually!
Mike Wright, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Acumen Learning said “Here’s the problem, your reps aren’t prepared to have (this) conversation. If you send a rep in to talk to a CEO, but that rep doesn’t know the levers the CEO is trying to pull to improve their productivity, then they’re going to turn the conversation into one about features and benefits. If they can’t talk about the competition and what the competition is doing, to drive loyalty of their customers, and loyalty of their employees, well then, you’re not going to have a very long conversation with the CEO.”
We are looking for respect from the CEO. We want her to feel this meeting is just as valuable to her as it is for us. These 7.5 items are all things the CEO has top of mind and is thinking about every day. These are the things she’ll benefit from. So...have you already excelled in your meeting with the CEO? If not, this is a problem worth fixing.
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