It’s one of the best qualifications of any senior level sales person/manager/executive
= how capable are you calling on C-level executives?
Almost everyone will claim they have the skill in some manner, however it’s the way
the skill set is described that tells you if the capability is truly part of the
individual’s comfort zone. This is critical as being comfortable working with senior
executives is predominantly something that comes from having direct experience doing
it; it’s not something that get’s trained in a classroom. Professional training does
certainly help a lot!
People who really work with C levels in a comfort zone will generally talk about
the following types of things:
the ability or style to position one’s self as of equal importance to the C level
the need to establish purpose and value through out all interactions
always being conscious of the need to earn the right to proceed to next levels of
the objective ultimately being to establish a basis of 'trust'
(the big surprise to most) the best way to achieve trust is through 'listening' (asking
questions – not just talking) and being attentive to the needs of the C level executive
and their teams
when needs are discussed the key is to demonstrate clear empathy and interest to
as any relationship/process continues it is best practice to always explain what
steps are planned and why each is an effective component
while building value at every encounter is key; the first impression can make or
break any relationship with a C level executive
That first impression is so important, it warrants some special comments. When people
with limited time first meet new people (especially sales), they are most likely
going to be cautious or even reluctant to open up or reveal too much. For those
who have become effective at working at this level (in their comfort zone), they
recognize that there are a few moments at the beginning when the window can be opened
or closed on a long term relationship. A 3 step guide to mastering this capability:
Do a lot of extra research and analysis without looking for answers; look for relevant
information about the person, the company and the industry and try to understand
the key trends, problems and growth opportunities.
Be ready to talk crisply and confidently about specific content about 'what you do'
that will quickly establish credibility.
Be prepared to adapt your 'style' to the person(s) you are meeting. Be sensitive
to their style(s) and go in with a plan to earn the right to take small steps to
a long term relationship that starts right now.
The reason calling on C Levels is such a desirable capability = it works! It produces
bigger results, more qualified opportunities, and for a lot of sales organizations
would be one of the best areas of improvement they could make to increase their sales