Saying that a C-level company employee got where they are by saying “no” all the time may be a slight exaggeration, but there is no doubt that they have had lots of practice with the word. After all, they have limited time and their company has limited resources. They have also likely been burned in the past from taking too ambitious of risks.
Despite this wall of personal defenses, the fact is that many C-suite members absolutely need your solution. Getting through to them simply involves using the right strategies and giving them the right information at the right time.
To help improve your chances of sales success, consider the following reasons a C-level exec might want to say “no” to you right off the bat.
They Have Never Heard of Your Company or Your Solution
Picture that you are a celebrity and you have offers to be a part of movie projects constantly. Which ones are you more likely to get excited about?
- One involving a production company, actor, director or project you have heard of before
- Someone spouting a bunch of details about an unheard-of group or project
Your job is to get your foot in the door before you even have a chance to talk to an executive by helping introduce them to your solution early on. You can start by drawing their attention with compelling sales materials. Pester their administrative staff to share content with them that describes their problem and how you solution fits it perfectly. You can also try sharing some insightful posts on LinkedIn and ask them to take a look.
Even if they do not remember anything you sent them verbatim, the recognition factor can help tremendously in terms of getting their ear later on. You should also leverage any familiar intellectual assets you have, such as touting backing from a certain company or an endorsement from a critical industry thought leader.
They Don’t Think They Can Learn Anything New from You
This is the most devastating type of brush-off from a C-level exec: the “yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it all before.” Such a reaction means that they already have their mind closed off to your solution based on preconceived notions, most likely left by failed efforts of sales reps in a similar field.
Your job at this point is to assert: “No, sir/madam, you have not heard it all before.” You can start by explaining a particular pain point in a relatable way or sharing a revealing statistic that can grab their attention.
Beyond that, your main role is to present yourself as an expert in your particular field. C-suite members know for a fact that they do not know it all, so they rely on consulting from experts to help them make smarter decisions. If you can supply such a role, you will not only have them more receptive to your messaging but possibly even looking to you for advice or information in other subjects.
They See That You Haven’t Had Much Practice in Sales Success
Even if someone has heard the exact same pitch done a million times before, hearing someone do it exceptionally well can catch their attention. By the same token, the most compelling and original sales messaging in the world cannot bring progress if it is poorly delivered.
Ensure that you can bring your A-game to every sales call, presentation and demo you have by putting in the needed preparation. You can use sales training materials like those offered by 2Win! or take advantage of our cutting edge presentation platforms like 2Win! Bridge.
Start prepping now to open doors you thought would be shut forever and truly capture the attention of decision-makers.