Viewing Posts for: John Elsey
But, Did Your Follow-up Ruin the Deal?
As CEO of Richardson, I head an organization focused on helping other organizations improve their sales execution. And, as a CEO, I am continually the target of prospecting calls and e-mails by sales professionals who base their approach solely on my position.
In my two previous posts — So, You Want to Sell to the C-suite? and So, You Got in to See the CEO. — I shared reflections on what works and what doesn’t. Now, I want to talk about the sales dialogue itself and follow-up.
Gaining access to the C-suite is not an invitation to launch into a soliloquy where you talk entirely about yourself and your organization. You’re there to start a relationship, and what goes a long way in building relationships is making the prospect feel truly heard. In our time-tested and proven Richardson consultative selling methodology-speak, listening is one of the Six Critical Skills in selling. Simply put, listening is the ability to concentrate on meaning, and when listening at the highest level, you are fully engaged and fostering effective sales dialogue.
As a proponent of the importance of listening in the sales process, I expect sellers to focus on what I say and to be attentive. If you’ve gotten my time, don’t miss the chance to actively listen to the information I am providing you. Too often, I am surprised by » Continue Reading.
As CEO of Richardson, a leading sales training company, I am continually struck by how many sales professionals try to sell me solely by virtue of my position.
In my previous post — So, You Want to Sell to the CEO?— I talked about the 30-second window in which I can determine whether the seller is worth my time. I touched on the epic fail on homework and how tricks and fancy talk will backfire.
Tell me something that I don’t know.
Now, I want to touch on something that’s a big issue for me: the predictability of sellers. All too often, when reps are selling to the c-suite, they tell us things that we already know. Or, they place the burden upon me to do the work of answering a ton of questions. All that does is tell me that they don’t respect my time. Their approach doesn’t engage me or hook me into a conversation. It’s like they never considered the next step after succeeding in getting my attention.
I don’t know any CEO who has the time to answer a bombardment of questions from a seller who hasn’t done his/her homework. Our job is not to educate sellers.
What we do in granting time for a conversation is give them the ability to credentialize themselves at the start. We open the door for them to tell us something that we » Continue Reading.
It’s difficult to secure a meeting, or even get through via phone or email to prospect and sell to the C-suite. I am well aware of the degree of difficulty, as I am one of those targets defending my time against countless sales professionals trying to get in the door. For the past 15 years, I have held C-suite positions with commercial training and education companies. Now, as CEO of Richardson, I am continually struck by how many sales professionals try to sell me solely by virtue of my position.
They might have better luck contacting someone on my team, someone responsible for the particular area of business that aligns with their offerings. But, they start at the top, and because I head an organization focused on helping other organizations improve their sales execution, I feel compelled to share my reflections on what works — and what doesn’t.
Epic fail on homework
The first mistake in prospecting to the C-suite is coming in totally unprepared. Instead of impressing me with their persistence in securing a meeting, some sales professionals demonstrate that they’re lazy sellers. It becomes apparent within the first 30 seconds that they don’t know very much about my business. It’s not hard to figure out that they haven’t done their homework, and they’re dead in the water from the outset.
My argument is that it’s easy to find out not only what my role is, and » Continue Reading.