Saturday, April 16

Shifting it up for the CEO 

When you are suddenly faced with a CEO meeting rather than the one-on-one seller/purchaser meeting you were expecting, this means that things are going well - or have the potential to!

4 strategies to shift your sales game:
1. Talk a lot less. Listen a lot more. CEOs do not like to listen. They love to talk. While they are talking, you are collecting vital information from which you will develop the first few bullets of your proposal or follow-up communication! Listen, take notes, and ask great questions.

2. Shift the quality and depth of your questions. Can you hear the difference between these two questions - the first is appropriate for your frontline buyer and the second would be more for her CEO:
a. What are the company's overall goals for this year?
b. Why are these goals so important right now? Once achieved, what's next?

3. Balance the power in the room. All successful sales relationships are peer relationships. Use stories and examples of other CEO interactions you've had; selectively (and honestly) drop a few names; show exactly how you've made other CEOs look brilliant, successful, and improved their company's condition.

4. Move from the tactical to the strategic. Zoom out to the big picture. That's where CEOs live. Drop the details (unless they're asked for.) Forget features; forget benefits; talk in outcomes, in dollars, in percentages, in profit, in margin, in market position.

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