Ever tried to set up a meeting with a senior-level executive? Are you just going through the motions and not really prepared for the objectives, the tone, or ??? It is tough to connect with these crazy-busy people who are never in their office, rarely answer the phone, and seldom reply to your voicemail or email. To make matters worse, savvy assistants zealously protect them from unnecessary interruptions. Jill Konrath has spoken about this many times. Her ideas combined with mine will give you the starter tools. Whether you are a sales person, OR a department head that needs to get in front of c suite level people here are four basic rules.
- Keep it Simple: Don’t overwhelm them with anything; net it out.
- Be Invaluable: Realize that YOU are the primary differentiator today.
- Always Align: Focus your message on their key business objectives.
- Raise Priorities: Keep your eye on changes that can increase momentum.
Here is your challenge: You need to convey all that in a 25-second voicemail or short email message. However, if you ever hope to gain access, it is imperative. Do not use voicemail to say only who you are and whom you are working with or department. Speak as if you are speaking to the person live. Try it -it makes a difference. Whether they think you are a little out of your mind-I like to think out of your box it will still resonate with the person.
Follow these strategies to get a meeting with a C-level executive. Do the planning to make it all worthwhile.
Pay the price of admission.
To gain access to the C-Suite requires knowledge of their business, industry or marketplace. Make sure to mention at least one juicy and relevant tidbit whenever you contact them.
ZoomInfo, Hoovers, relevant similar industry day’s events, and your prospect’s corporate website provide excellent resources for your preliminary research.
Leverage trigger events.
Identify occurrences (e.g. new facilities, legislation, ACO) that create opportunities for your offering. Stay up-to-date on these changes by using automated alert systems. Again, refer to this event when you initiate contact.
Social media sites, Google relevant industry terms, LinkedIn professional group, and Google alerts are valuable resources for identifying important trigger events.
Talk strategic value.
Executives only get involved with decisions that move the organization towards their desired future outcomes/initiative. . Unless you can clearly articulate the business value, you provide in these key areas, they do not have time for you. One more time, make sure to address this in your messages. Here is where value proposition of your services/goods come into being. What you can do to help them solve a challenge(s)?
I have tried these approaches and they work most times. What I found is you need to find the pain point and offer a value in terms of solutions, services or products to this busy decision maker. Remember he or she is thinking. WIFM-What’s in it for me and my organization/business?
How have you overcome this challenge in your environment? Share your comments with me.Passionately,