Sales Training – Trust and the C-Suite – Do You Have What It Takes?

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July 8, 2014
Sales Training – Trust and the C-Suite – Do You Have What It Takes?

Hi and welcome back to my blog.

It has been an exciting week for me. I was working in Milan with Samsung introducing new processes for the channel strategy. I then took the opportunity to take a side trip to Switzerland and catch up with some old friend. I am feeling refreshed and re-invigorated. Ready for the weeks ahead in Australia.
Last week we talked about how the CXO is a different selling experience and the rewards are much higher particularly if you do manage to get the relationship on a level where you can be that trusted advisor.  So lets get down to the nuts and bolts of dealing with the C-Suite, how do you build that trust?

  1. Be curious. Be helpful. Focus not on your sale but on helping the CXO do the right thing. Be a partner having a dialog among equals.
  1. Prepare to your usual high standards, but understand that the right move may be to leave any or all of your hard work in your bag or on your laptop. Remember, the relationship is the customer. Put your focus there.
  1. Even in a brief meeting, spend some time getting to know the CXO as a person. Be alert to all the cues that are available to you about who he is and what matters to him, personally as well as professionally. With a connection, you are someone who can be trusted to help define and shape the problems and opportunities.
  1. Keep presentations brief and to the point. Do not revisit the technical sale you already made at lower levels. Make the conclusions the headlines. Follow up the meeting in a professional way and leave the door open to go back to them.
  1. Really listen, this can translate to understanding where he/she is coming from, and what it is like to be in his/her shoes. Listening builds bonds and fosters curiosity. Focusing on his/her perspective will earn you the privilege of being listened to in return.
  1. CXOs often do not hear straight talk from their staff and appreciate it when they hear it from you. Have the courage to speak the hard truths.
  1. Practice and master the 30-second answer. Speak in headlines first, and dive into the details on cue.
  1. Demonstrate your partnering skills by sharing the very formation of your thoughts in a transparent way, sometimes thinking out loud can promote an exchange of ideas that are priceless
  1. If it is a 30-minute meeting, and the CXO is energized and engaged, you can say: “Do we have a bit more time to talk?” On the other hand, if he’s looking at the clock after 15 minutes, ask: “Is this discussion on target for you? How can I best help?”

Til’ the next time…. Andrew

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