4 Ways to Connect With The C-Suite
In this blog we will look at 4 ways you can increase your chances of getting in front of and impressing c-level executives.
Firstly, how do you get that elusive meeting?
A big mistake in selling to the C-Suite is to see the gatekeeper as an obstacle. Many CxO’s have PAs who know them better than anyone else in the organisation. They often trust their PAs to help keep them organised and focused. So, whilst it’s true that gatekeepers can block your access to our CxO, they can also be powerful allies if you can get them on your side.
A CxO’s PA will usually know what the CxO’s priorities and values are, how she makes decisions, what her problems are and when and how she wants to hear about propositions such as yours. If you build a good relationship with the gatekeeper, you can use it to increase your chances of getting a hearing with the CxO.
The level of research is directly proportional to the outcome you will achieve. Getting through the to the C-Suite is a tricky process and requires thought.
You will need to spend time researching their business, or perhaps you know them well due to a historical relationship.
Read their annual report, it will give you insights into their business that would be valuable for creating a purposeful and insightful conversation when you do get through to them.
LinkedIn, and their website will give you a good idea of who’s who on the Board of Directors. Identify your B.I.T.E. (Buyer, Influencer, Technical Assessor, End User). Where do they sit on the C-Suite? This may depend on the product or service you sell. Are you, or any of your team, already connected to them in anyway? Are you, or any of your team, connected to someone who is connected to them on LinkedIn perhaps, can you get referred to them?
Study their marketplace, where they sit within the market and know how your product, service or idea will create additional value in securing more market share for them. When you get through to the C-Suite, they are busy, you will need to capture their interest quickly, so create a compelling, authentic 15-second introduction that will engage and excite.
This focus allows us to get inside the CxOs’ heads, what does it feel like for them? You have completed your research and know they have issues that you can solve, you know they are under pressure to increase market share, and you have a proposition full of strategies that will see them achieve this, so focus on that.
Do you have an advocate of your products and services that would be able to refer you in to the C-Suite of a target company? People like to help people and people like to be associated with successful people, use your already established advocates to build a referral network.
Think of the type of business social events the C-Suite would attend. Industry related conferences. Job related conferences and events (the CTO may be a regular at a specific tech conference, the CPO may attend procurement round table events). These will give you a great opportunity to meet and introduce yourself and show you are aligned with their thinking.
1. Create relationships with Gatekeepers, they will increase your chances of connecting to the CxO.
2. Research, Research, Research.
3. Create a B.I.T.E. matrix for your target CxOs.
4. Set up a network of referrers – advocates who will sing your praises and introduce you.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how we help teams to sell more effectively to the c-suite, check out our Selling to the C-Suite programme or get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.
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