Selling Higher – Are You Ready to Climb?
The fact that decisions are being made at a higher level requires a totally different approach to selling. It can present many challenges for the salesperson, including access. Indeed, our experience of dozens of United Kingdom sales campaigns suggests it is 50% more difficult to access C level (CEO, CFO, or CTO) executives in major UK companies compared to just five years ago.
But getting to the top is not the end of the challenge; the salesperson has to be able to stay there. The air is thinner higher up in an organisation, and that means that the salesperson’s features and benefits message may struggle to survive.
Most salespeople believe that it is easier to sell to somebody who is closer to their own level. Understandably, they can be intimidated in dealing with senior managers.
For one they are afraid of being caught out. That is because they know that senior managers think different, ask different questions and perhaps even use a different language. They are skeptical that the senior manager will really want to talk to and engage with them.
On the positive side, the sales person who can sell to senior managers has a real advantage.
Ready to Sell To the Top? – Take The Test:
- Will you be invited to sit at the board table?
- Can you talk strategy? Can you add value?
- Will you be treated as a peer?
- Can you speak the language of the CFO, the COO, etc?
- Do you understand the company and its industry?
- Can you help to build the business case?
- Do you know the managers priorities, metrics and goals?
- Can you become a trusted adviser?
John O' Gorman is a Business to Business sales coach, Director of The ASG Group and co-author of the ground-breaking book, The B2B Sales Revolution. John works with sales teams and sales managers across Europe to accelerate sales using the sales performance solution; SellerNAV.
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