The stakes are high when you’re selling to executives, especially if you can’t access the relevant executive for the sales opportunity you’re pursuing in the client organization.
The relevant executive is defined as the executive who stands to gain the most or lose the most as a result of the outcome of the application or project associated with your sales opportunity.
When to Walk Away When Selling to Executives
If you can’t meet the relevant executive, it may be prudent to walk away. That will save the cost of a sale you can’t win AND enable you to pursue another opportunity you have a better chance of winning.
CXOs told us that salespeople who do get to meet them as a result of a cold call receive five minutes to show they can add value.
What to Do When Executives Send You Down to Lower-level Executives
If, after meeting with the executive, she sends you down to a lower-level executive within her organization, don’t push back. But make certain you do the following three things:
- Ask the executive for an introduction to the lower-level executive, showing the lower-level executive the importance of the meeting.
- Ask the executive what they hope you will achieve with their subordinate, and what additional people are suited to have the discussion with you. Turn it into a networking opportunity.
- Ask for an opportunity to re-connect with the senior executive after meeting with the lower-level executive(s) to share your findings with her.
The lessons to be learned: Being sent down to lower-level executives can be very positive and can also gain you credibility with them – and, in return, it can gain you credibility with the executive who sent you down to them – when you share those findings with them. In most cases, this experience will move your sales campaign forward!