Is selling to executives any different from selling to anyone else?

One could argue that it is.

One could say that it is different because executives are busier, harder to get to, and possibly more impatient and critical.

So in those ways, selling to executives is different.

What this means is that you have to be a better player when selling to executives.

Your message has to be sharply honed.

You can’t just cold call an executive, expect to get through on the first call, and say "Tell me about your business objectives for this year."

You’re not likely to get through at all on the first call.

You’re more likely to get screened by a gatekeeper or a voicemail box.

So you gotta have a sharp, well defined message.

That is if you want to get your call returned, or get through the next time you call, or get referred over to someone influential who will speak with you.

In this way, selling to executives is no different than selling to anyone else.

The message that matters is one that relates to their business pain.

You can and should have good idea of what that message is *before* you call on an executive.

How do you do this?

Simple – play detective.

Start by searching around on the internet. Find out whatever you can using public information sources like press releases, corporate websites, financial filings, and articles on and interviews with company execs.

Read this material and you’ll likely find a lot of info about the challenges the business faces and the directions its going in.

Then armed with this information, start making calls lower into the organization.

Talk with managers and directors likely to have problems that you have product solutions for.

Probe these people for pain, problems, and consequences (these are the people you should be asking the most questions of).

After a few of these calls, you’ll have an even better idea of the major challenges facing the business and its executives.

Armed with this information, you can successfully make a run at calling on an executive and asking for telephone or face-to-face appointment.

You’ll need to ask specifically about a major pain you already know he is facing.

Phrase this question properly and you are much more likely to get a call back, an appointment, or even get passed through to speak to him when you make your call.

Questioning for pain, problems and consequences is a critical sales skill.

And questioning for pain, problems and consequences isn’t just about asking open ended questions and listening to your prospect to talk. It’s a persuasive way of getting your prospect to talk about something they care about and are likely to spend some buckaroos on.

These questioning techniques are covered more in depth, right here, in the Persuasive Selling Skills Audio Program.

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus