Connecting With The C-Suite

Are you capable of having a C-Suite conversation? Anybody with the word Chief in their job title; be it with Executive, Financial, Technology, or Information these are the people that lead businesses.

Salespeople that can hold a credible conversation in the C-suite will open up more opportunities for themselves and the products/services they sell. What is interesting is that you might not be having those conversations directly with the top level of a company (your customers might be too big for salespeople to even get close), but if you are capable of having that conversation, the quality of interaction you have with your buyers will increase. And guess what, your C-suite insights will percolate through their management population, even ending up on the board’s agenda.

What does it take to pull off a C-suite conversation?

  1. Self-confidence. You’ve got to believe in your ability to have the conversation in the first place.
  2. Personal Presence. Look the part, tune into the required level of seriousness and formality.
  3. Expertise. Know your own offering inside-out, including a distillation into an elevator pitch (a 30 second nugget that nails what is distinctive about your offer).
  4. Deep Customer Knowledge. You must know the customer in forensic detail, both in terms of the buying relationship with you and what they are about.
  5. Market Awareness. Know the landscape, competitors yours and theirs, change drivers and pain points.
  6. Insight. You must have something interesting to say. Make connections, have an opinion, challenge orthodoxy.