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FEATURED ARTICLE — August 22nd, 2017

Bartering with the Big Boss: How to Sell to CEOs

Any salesperson who is a Games of Thrones fan may well have felt some form of affinity with ‘the faceless men’. While (hopefully) your job description doesn’t include changing faces to undertake stealthy assassinations, being able to adapt your outward demeanor, character, and pitch depending on who you are speaking to is an essential skill for anyone who works in sales.

In a recent Forbes article about the importance of being able to switch between introverted and extroverted when speaking to customers, Erika Andersen highlights versatility as a key trait for effective salespeople. People in sales need to be comfortable shifting their behavior to create better relationships and results with a wide range of different customer profiles.

This is particularly important in a B2B setting, where the pressure is high, and your performance could make or break potentially huge and long-term contracts. The first step of preparing for a B2B sales meeting, should always be to check exactly who will be present at the meeting, and which run of the ladder of hierarchy they sit on. This will guide you not only in how to approach the pitch, but also if you can expect a definitive answer that day.

If you find out that you will be pitching directly to the CEO of a company, it is important to bear the following three tips in mind:

1. Show them the money: A CEO’s main focus is ROI 

Walk into every meeting with a CEO expecting a tough crowd. According to a recent study, senior executives consider less than one-fifth of the meetings they have with salespeople to be valuable.

One of the most important tips when pitching to a CEO, is to cut out the fluff. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can charm CEOs with a Jerry Maguire act — CEOs are only... Read More

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