Where is Your Comfort Level?
How many businesspeople do you know who are afraid to get out of the comfort zone to make a call to the top decision maker? Instead, they continually meet with low level management fooling themselves into thinking “a good word” will be put in for them at the top. Worse yet, others remain in their office and guess at what is wanted without ever venturing out. Their odds of winning business are very poor.
The first step is to do your homework of understanding the company, industry and clientele. Now, you will be able to intelligently contact the top decision maker and get the needed appointment. Why is it necessary to call at the highest level?
The top officers know the company intimately and will provide more accurate and usually honest feedback to your questions. The process will be far less time consuming because this strategy eliminates the endless meetings. Top officers do not have time to waste. And, your chances of succeeding are much greater because it is unlikely the top Executive will be challenged by others.
The following is a true story: A client company asked their vendor to produce a proposal for new equipment. The salesman on the account only met with lower level technical people. He found meeting with the Executive Management intimidating. Most often, the salesman remained behind his desk rather than visit with the client.
Meanwhile the salesman sent the technical person to meet with the client’s technical team on a steady basis. This strategy enabled the salesman to learn about technical issues, but he never learned what was important at the top. The salesperson made no effort to learn the long term goals, or solve current issues.
The salesman’s proposal was filled with guesses. All the while, the competition called on the C. E. O. and C. F. O. The competition learned the burning issues, budget and long term goals. It was no wonder that the competition won the business away from the in-house vendor.
It is true that calling on high up levels of management can be intimidating. If you find this to be so, then seek out magazines that are written for the Executive levels.
A number of years ago, I was to meet with the C. F. O. of a company. While waiting in the lobby for him, I noticed a magazine entitled, “CFO. ” I picked the magazine up and began to read the articles which addressed the every day problems CFO’s face. The articles were interesting and the issues dealt with came to life.
Reading the magazine was a great learning tool. Best of all, when the CFO came out to greet me, he was delighted to see me take an interest in this particular magazine. By the end of our meeting, I was asked to build a proposal for him.
Successful sales are built upon relationship selling skills. Here are a few extra ideas for increasing your comfort level calling on executives: If you are uncomfortable calling high up, practice with less important accounts; Find what words and implement your best practices; Meet as many people within the account as possible; Learn to speak the Client’s jargon at all levels.
Ask yourself, am I reaching beyond my comfort zone and making the best decisions for my business?
You will find your center of influence will grow And Your Business Will Prosper
© Smooth Sale Tips Newsletter by Smooth Sale 2003-2005. All Rights Reserved.
Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale and Author, has transformed her 11 year award-winning corporate sales career into training entrepreneurs and network marketers on how to sell better and build business more quickly.
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