You cannot approach selling to executives in the same way you approach any other sale. It’s true that selling to executives versus employees is a shorter process, (less waiting for approval periods), but it does require a totally different strategy than the one you use for employees. To save you time, and execute your sales effectively, consider these 4 tips.
1. Optimize methods of connection. Multiple studies have shown that executives are in touch with all methods of communication. A study from Ber|Art reported that over 55 percent of top-level management regularly check Facebook. 64 percent reported to using LinkedIn on a regular basis. Put yourself in their frame of reference by connecting through several mediums before you actually make contact. This highlights you in their memory, and makes a small connection for them and what you offer, before you pitch to them. On this same note, connecting yourself through a referral will up your chances of closing a deal as well. Eyes On Sales reports that, “A cold lead, or an inbound lead from a random source, has a closing rate of around 25% to 30%. In contrast, you double your success with a referred lead, which traditionally has a closing rate of 50%.”.
2. Keep it Brief. By making a concise and to-the-point pitch you not only appear to highly value your time, you show them that you value their time as well. Taking advice from the CBS Money Watch “your sales approach has got to be fully-researched, short and sweet”. Get your point across and don’t allow your presentation to be labeled a “time-waster”. Consider cutting out some facets of your presentation that may require set up time. Ask yourself, “Do I really need a slide-show to get my point across?”.
3. Fully develop responses to questions. A large part of an executive’s job, is to overview, and oversee processes. They are well versed in finding flaws in a project, in order to make it more effective. If they are interested, they will most likely have specific questions that demand a specific answer from you. As stated in Salesforce’s blog “An executive sales meeting is not the time to ask basic questions.”. Tailor what you say to executive and the company you are making your offer too. Your extra work will not go unnoticed.
4. Practice out loud. Executives made their way to where they are with their strong leadership qualities and confidence. They can be intimidating to present to. Put yourself in the right frame of mind by practicing before you meet with them directly. In Forbes article “7 Tips for Creating an Effective Sales Pitch” , Wendy Weiss says, “If you go in with the idea that you are just going to talk, talk, talk, and make the sale, it’s going to be a struggle. But if you go in with the idea that you are going to have a conversation and build a relationship with the prospect, you’ll have a much better success rate.”. Remember, executives are people too! Practice out loud to soften your nerves. Speaking with eloquence while actively working to engage the executive into conversation will pave your way to making your sale.