Monday, December 3, 2012

Selling to Executives – Know Thy Client

Executives want to do business with sales leaders who create business value and improve business performance. They make buying decisions that will help them achieve their strategic and financial performance goals.

Before trying to sell to an executive be certain that you and your sales team know how and why your executive buyer’s investment decisions are made. Be prepared and stay focused on their reason for buying. It is not about you or your company. It is all about them and their objectives.

Before meeting with an executive, prepare by:

  • Getting Key Performance Information: Analyze publicly available business and financial information including recent shareholder reports, earnings calls, and recent News articles and press releases.

  • Performing a High-Level Financial Analysis: To buy from you, executives need to know that you are in their league and speak their language. To keep your seat at the table, make sure that you review and understand their performance of the last 2-3 years, identify key improvement areas and trends, and link your solution (the costs and benefits) to their most important strategic priorities.

  • Understanding Their Competition: Remember that your goal is to help the executive and their company to succeed. That means understanding their marketplace and how you help them win. To start, review Annual Reports and key ratio comparisons of competitors and have a point of view vis-à-vis your solution.
Sales professionals who skip these steps often find themselves at the losing end of the deal.

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