3 Tips for Selling to the C-Suite
By Ago Cluytens

zen

Most of my clients want to have better meetings with senior executives. Meetings that feel like conversations, not pitches. Meetings that build deeper relationships. Meetings that uncover more ways in which they can help their customers.

Behind closed doors, when I ask what’s holding them back, many will tell me things like, “I don’t feel comfortable,” “I have nothing to offer to them,” or “I’m not at their level.”

Selling to the C-suite can be difficult, and getting a first meeting can be a real challenge. But in my experience, the most difficult part is not getting the first meeting. It’s getting the second one. Or the third one.

It’s keeping the relationship going...

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Men and Women View Risks Differently: What Sales Managers Need to Know
By Bob Croston

risk

Talking about the differences between men and women is a tricky thing. But we need to deal with tricky things if we want to be good sales managers.

The recently published book, Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, has a nugget of knowledge every sales manager should know. As the title suggests, it’s about the science behind why some people win and others struggle.

This is not a sales book, but some of its findings relate to sales and have implications for how to manage a sales team. (Note: for detailed, sales-specific research on what makes a sales winner, take a look at RAIN Group’s recent research report, What Sales Winners Do Differently.)

While Bronson and Merryman’s book covers a variety of topics, it’s what they have to say on risk and its implications for sales management that deserves attention, especially the surprising results when comparing men and women. While the authors struggled to accept these findings at first, the science pointed to differences too large to ignore.

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RAIN Selling: How to Lead Masterful Sales Conversations
By Mike Schultz

conversation

It’s 4 PM on a Thursday. You’re about to meet the CEO of a large company you’d like to win as a client. The conversation starts as you walk into the office, approach the CEO, stretch out your hand, and say, “Nice to meet you, Jill. I’m Steve Webb.”

Fast forward 7 months later. It’s 3 PM on a Wednesday. You head into the office. Jill gets out from behind her desk and says, “Good to see you again, Steve. Here’s the signed contract for the initial $1.2 million. Let’s get started.”

Suffice it to say, a lot has to happen between “hello” and “let’s go.”

Yet two things are true. 1) This is how it happens. And, 2) how to lead sales conversations, influence your prospects to want to buy, buy from you, buy a robust solution, and pay full price for it confounds many people.

But it doesn’t have to...

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5 Steps to Collaborate with Buyers in the Selling Process
By Mike Schultz

collaborate

When buyers buy something, one of two things must be true:

1. They are required to buy.

2. They want to buy.

In the former, they have no choice. Get sued, hire a lawyer. Buying = required. The lawyer doesn’t need to convince the buyer why to buy legal services in general, only why to buy them from them.

In the latter, the buyer has a choice. Buying = desired. They don’t need to buy, but if they want it badly enough, and have the money and authority to buy, they buy.

Since the buyer isn’t required to buy when sellers drive demand, sellers must be able to take their priority of making a sale happen, and make it the buyer’s priority to make a purchase happen.

It’s not that easy, though, because you’re nowhere near the buyer’s priority list when you start.

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Leading Sales Conversations When the Seller Drives the Demand
By Mike Schultz

drive demand

How you run a sales meeting depends fundamentally on who set it.

Imagine for a minute you’re the COO of a mid-sized manufacturing company. You’ve been reading quite a bit about how to decrease costs in a supply chain. You do a little research and find supply chain consulting firms. You call a few that happen to be in your area and set up a series of sales conversations with them. In this case, you’re the buyer.

You are driving the demand.

Soon, a partner from one of the firms comes to your office. After pleasantries, he says things like: "So, what’s on your mind?" "Tell me what’s going on that brings me here today." "Before we get started, is there anything in particular you’re hoping to get out of this meeting before we’re done?"

Then the meeting gets underway...

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