Are You Missing Skills Needed to Sell to C-Level Executives?
“What experience do you have in selling to C-Level Executives?”
My question in response is this:
“How is it any different selling to a CEO of a Fortune 500 organization than it is to a small business?”
If I know and understand the true buying process (the cycles or steps prospects go through and how buying decisions are made) it won’t matter if I’m selling to a small business with a short sales cycle or if I’m selling to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company with a long sales cycle.
All “buyers” go through the same “process” for making a purchasing decision. Some companies will have more people involved than others. Some decision makers will go through the process faster than others. And all will have their own reasons for ultimately saying “YES” to you.
But that doesn’t mean a sales person who is currently selling software to small businesses wouldn’t be successful selling health care to Fortune 500 organizations (with all things being equal: product / service knowledge and, most importantly “love” and “belief” in the product / service in question)
The A, B & C-Level SALES QUESTIONING FORMULA
Sales is all about knowing what questions to ask, when to ask them, why to ask them, who to ask them to and how to respond with the answers given.
The WHAT: If you don’t know what sales questions to ask, you're winging it. That might have worked prior to the economic down turn… You know, when you could afford to blow a deal and blame it on marketing / bad lead while you sit around and wait for the next sales call-in. But that’s not the case in today’s market. You want to start earning what you used to make? You’ll need more than just “social media” skills or old flawed selling systems to save you.
The WHEN: Sales is a process. Asking the right sales question at the wrong time can run out the clock on your time with the prospect pronto, bringing the sales call or meeting to a screeching halt. Prospects are looking for reasons why they should or shouldn’t do business with you. Don’t make it easy for them to choose your competitor over you.
The WHY: Understanding what sales questions to ask and when to ask them is important but knowing the reason behind the questions hold the true power of sales success. If you don’t know why you are asking, how will it matter what the answers are?
The WHO: No, not the band. Your prospect. Asking the right sales questions at the right time for the right reasons but to the wrong person is a dead-end.
The RESPONSE: Sales is a lot like chess. You can see all of the potential moves your opponent can make, before they make them. When you know what sales questions to ask, when to ask them, why to ask them and who to ask them to, you will be in much better shape to respond to their answers in order to guide and move the sale to a close, regardless if it’s the CEO of a small business with a short sales cycle or the CEO of a Fortune 500 organization.
CSS: Chief Sales Scientist
SalesBuzz.com (A 2011 Sales Training Company Watch List Award Winner!)
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