Selling to the C-Suite has changed dramatically in recent years. It’s no longer about knowing – and golfing – with the right people. Buyers expect more (and different) things from sales and service professionals.
I recently participated in the RainToday.com webinar, “Selling to the C-Suite: How to Win the CxO Sale.” The presenter, Ago Cluytens, RAIN Group’s EMEA practice director, drew from his experience as a Big 4 management consultant and former CxO to talk about the most effective ways to sell to executives in today’s market.
Ago offered many insights and I encourage you to access the event recording for the entire presentation. I want to share with you his “Six Keys to the C-Suite,” because according to Ago, these factors make the difference between making calls and being called in for a meeting with senior executives.
1. A personal brand that positions you as a person of equal worth. Blogging, speaking, guest blogging and other similar tactics can help you create a personal brand.
2. Access to relationships and networks of trusted allies.
3. A reputation as a thought leader and prominent expert.
4. The ability to link what you do to the senior exec’s strategic plans and objectives.
5. A connection that transcends business – be interesting outside of work .
6. Belief and confidence that you truly belong in the (board) room.
It’s no surprise to me that personal brand and thought leadership are high on Ago’s list. These factors make you a known quantity – someone that senior execs have gotten to know, like, and are beginning to trust. In my experience, speaking, blogging and writing articles lead to phone calls from prospects and discussions about how they want to work with me, not if we are going to work together. Sure makes the sales cycle shorter and easier.
How are you building your personal brand and thought leadership position? Has it helped you shorten your sales cycle? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below.