How to position yourself to access the C-Suite

March 13, 2014

By Tom Adams, Coach and Adviser

It’s an important goal for almost every salesperson: get access to senior executives in prospective client companies — the C-Level decision makers who approve deals. While they are not always involved in the actual purchase of services, it is clear they have enormous sway over which providers get an opportunity to sell and which are ultimately retained by their organizations. You intuitively know the importance of obtaining an audience with these people but I suspect you might be frustrated by your attempts to reach them.

It may surprise you that leaders at the highest levels don’t dislike or even avoid sales pitches. In fact, they often welcome them if they are approached in the right way by a salesperson. But if you try to access and sell to the C-Suite in the same way you sell to non-executives, it will most likely backfire on you. Perseverance, your well-practiced pitch, and a good attitude will not be enough to overcome a wrong approach.

If you want to have a seat at the table, there are strategic ways to think and act that give you a fighting chance. You want to be an invited guest, not an unwelcomed pest. You want to be a trusted advisor to executives, not a show-up-and-throw-up talking sales brochure.

Please join me at the NAID conference on Sunday, April 6, at 8 a.m. to learn some effective ways to gain access to the C-Suite. My goal for this session is to give you new ways to think about positioning yourself as well as some specific action items to gain access to executive prospects.