How to Ace the Sale to the C‑Level Decision Maker

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Buyers in the c‑suite did not get to their positions by making ill-​informed decisions. If you want to impress the person who sits behind the giant custom-​made desk, you will need to bring more than just your winning smile to the meeting if you want to leave having successfully landed a sale. Selling to a c‑level decision maker can be stressful, but Marc Wayshak tells you how to make the job easier in his post on the SalesForce blog.

Selling to a C‑Level Decision Maker

Your c‑level decision maker prospect is unquestionably an expert in their field of business. They do work in the industry, after all, and likely for many years to reach the level of power they currently possess. And they may have a college degree in the topic, as well. What they might not know about, even with all their experience, is how your product or service can help them solve a problem they and/​or their company is/​are facing. It can be difficult to keep up with every single advancement in the industry.

Every business, big or small, in every industry has problems. So, you should start out your sales meeting by mentioning information you read on an problem that is currently prominent in the industry. If the c‑level decision maker acknowledges that they have the same problem, you have established yourself as knowledgeable in the field, and therefore, more worthy of their attention than a sales rep who hasn't done their research.

Once you get the c‑level decision maker talking, keep them talking by asking follow-​up questions. If they are struggling with ways to get their finished product out of the warehouse more quickly, ask them how their company tracks its inventory. If they mention shortcomings with the current inventory-​tracking process, you can suggest that newer products are helping manufacturers with these same problems. Ask if they have taken the time to explore alternate solutions such as the ones your company specializes in. To build trust with the prospect, follow this up by explaining the best features of these new solutions, including of course, your product.

As you steer the conversation down the path that leads the c‑level decision maker to consider your product, be mindful of your voice. Mirror the way the prospect speaks. If they are speaking slowly and pausing frequently, you will want to do the same. Avoid rushing out your words to fill a blank space in the conversation. Doing so will make you look nervous and inexperienced. This is not the impression you want to make on a c‑level decision maker.

It's easy to be intimidated by the c‑level decision maker. If you feel overwhelmed, don't be afraid to slow down the conversation. Take a few deeps breaths and remember that you are the expert in how your product solves customer problems. The prospect needs your help. All you have to do is show them how your product could fulfill their needs. Easy enough; this is what you do every day. You've got this.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.