How do you prepare for a meeting with a CXO or other important executive? A friend of mine who is a senior investment banker at a major Wall Street firm once told me, “I prepare for each meeting like it’s the Super Bowl.” My friend then explained the massive amount of time he and his research team put into preparing for each important meeting. No wonder he routinely meets with CEOs, CFOs, Boards of Directors, and major investors. On the other hand, most salespeople meet with key executives infrequently. They may even treat such a meeting as another demo or discovery call. That’s a mistake.
Here’s a post one of my colleagues recently made on LinkedIn after a long day of prospecting: “Today, I made 114 calls. The first 100 calls resulted in zero meetings. On call 102, I booked a meeting with a VP at a hypergrowth startup. Call 105 resulted in a meeting with one of the largest retailers in Canada. Don't quit too soon.” Boom! This post went viral, generating thousands of likes, shares, and comments as other sales professionals shared their own war stories and words of encouragement. Clearly, my colleague hit a nerve with his fellow sales professionals. It’s easy to see why. In a profession where the rejection rate can often be 90 percent, staying motivated is critical to your long-term success. So, what kind of person would sign up for a job where they are rejected over 90 percent of the time?
It’s harder than ever to reach senior executives. The usual protections provided by gatekeepers are still there—but now it’s compounded by extra physical distance and other distractions. In this environment, sales reps need to ensure they are perceived as being relevant and bringing fresh insights to the valuable meeting once they get it. They need to speak senior executives’ language and be clear about their objective. The payoff is engaging in more strategic relationships, developing longer-term relationships, insulating themselves from the competition, and closing more large deals. Here are four simple steps – also known as the RAMP method – that can help you sell higher in the organization.
We all want to get access and sell higher, yet it’s difficult. CXO’s are busy, and often protected by a gatekeeper. But the payoff is larger deals, more strategic relationships, longer term relationships and the ability to insulate yourself from the competition. The question is, how do you get the meeting, and what do you do when you get there?
Prospecting is a lot like fly fishing. In this episode, we talk about the similarities between those two practices, and how by "matching the hatch" you're much more likely to break through the noise when prospecting.