Saturday, April 30, 2016

How to Score a Meeting with an Executive Using LinkedIn

2 people are meeting with an executive

There are so many reasons why it is smart as a salesperson to meet as soon as possible with executives.  Executives:  

are likely to be the decision makers
wield power and influence over lower level contacts
control the budget and 
link directly to the strategy that drives their business

Yet, there are also many reasons why it is difficult to score a meeting with these high level folks.  Most executive team members:

are super busy and 
often find sessions with traditional sales people a waste of their time

From your executive sales training, you feel confident that you can handle the pressure of a coveted appointment in the C-Suite. You know the company and have done the necessary research. You understand what problems the company is facing. You have pulled together a persuasive list of potential solutions for their most pressing problem and have crafted a brief but compelling pitch with the client at the center.

First, however,  you have to get the meeting on your calendar. The most effective way to get an appointment with an executive is via a warm referral. This is where LinkedIn can help. Here are the steps to follow to use LinkedIn for warm referrals:

1. Identify your top target clients…the ones you love to work with, who appreciate your solutions the best and where you should win at least 75% of the time.

2. Ask if they would be willing to have you reach out to their connections. If they have been truly delighted with you and how you have helped them grow their business, they are likely to say “yes”…especially because it’s easy and quick to do so on LinkedIn. Make your request short and sweet so it takes little time for them to read it. And be sure to make it clear that you will use only a few of their contacts and only those with problems you feel qualified to solve.

3. With your top clients’ permission, use the “Advanced Search” option to sift through connections that are most likely to bear fruit. For the step-by-step process, see

4. Send an invitation to the selected executive connection citing your common contact. Suggest a time for an introductory meeting based upon a compelling idea or insight that makes sense for their unique situation and your referring contact.

Using technology to filter through contact lists for executives most likely to need your services is the smart way to get those referrals that win you a seat in the executive board room. Now go for it!

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