Helping Your Reps Sell to the C-Suite

by on September 23, 2011 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Webinars for Sales Managers

Video Transcript

Operator: Hello and welcome to today’s conference entitled, “Helping Your Reps Sell to the C-Suite”.

The general outline for today’s program is included in your handout. There also will be opportunities for questions and answers after the program. As a reminder, this call is being recorded.

Today’s speaker is Steve Von Hoene.

Steve founded Journey Learning with over 21 years of sales, management, and training experience with three industry leaders. Formerly the Vice President of National Accounts for Carew International, he enjoyed great success in a wide range of industries, consulting and facilitating sales, leadership, customer service, and financial literacy workshops with Fortune 500 companies in the United States and abroad.

Prior to Carew, Steve’s seven years with Cintas Corporation and six years with the Hubert Company gave him solid backgrounds in operational management and marketing.

Steve, the audience is all yours.

Steven Von Hoene: Thanks, Erik. And good afternoon everyone if it’s afternoon where you are. Otherwise, good morning to the West Coast folks.

Glad to have you here today to talk about a topic that I think is one of the more challenging ones that I think we need to deal with in today’s sales environment and that is having our reps be as effective as they can be at dealing with those C-Suite individuals whether that’s the CEO or the Chief Financial Officer or even just Vice President. I would put them in the same category of manufacturing or distribution or whatever it might be.

So I hope you’re ready. I hope we have some good things for you today. I think we do. And let’s get into it.

I think one of the things that is key both in selling to C-Suite types of individuals as well as just about anybody that we sell to understands their language. And in fact recognizes that there’s potentially a difference between their language and ours.

I think some of the things that we need to be aware of is how we talk to folks, what’s their frame of reference, do we get caught up in our own jargon or, you know, using terminology that we’re very familiar with and maybe even comfortable with but they may not be.

So I think one of the first things to do is to think about who within your organization or maybe within your past if your organization is fairly green or there isn’t somebody who’s really great at selling to the C-Suite.

But who is or who has been best at selling to that level within your client organizations? I think there are a lot of things that go into this. I think there are some teachable skills or even some information that we can impart to folks. So there are some learnable things as well as some behavioral types of attributes.

One of the greatest things I ever heard a business owner say to one of his people before was, you know, what I like about this individual is that they are not afraid to, as he called it, walk with the giants.

And, you know, I think there certainly is a difference between our reps and folks that are high level in some of our client organizations. But we have to recognize that we have value to bring to them just like we do every other contact within their organizations.

And because of that then, we have a right to be there. And we certainly have value that we can present to them. So I would say, you know, take a look at your current staff of folks you work with in the past. And try to get a handle on what are the knowledge pieces, what are the skill pieces and potentially what are the attributes that those folks all possess in being able to deal effectively with that level of contact within your client organizations.

Again, not to say that there’s not a process involved or a certain approach we want to take. But I would at least look at those types of pieces of the puzzle first.

The second thing I think is, you know, to look at why is it that those individuals, again, are successful and to look at the flipside of that coin of, you know, why aren’t others successful.

Much like I just talked about, there are some learnable things that our folks could get better at. But there are also some things that for whatever reason, if they’re intangibles or not, there are some folks who just aren’t good at this.

Maybe they’re not flexible in their own style, you know, whether it’s getting out of that jargon kind of trap or whether they’ve got a certain level of professionalism that no matter how much training or polish you try to put to it, they’re never going to be there.

So I think it’s again, key to look at what makes certain people successful and maybe what keeps other people from being successful and being able to address those kinds of issues with your folks.

Again, to determine whether it’s a learnable skill or not. I think one of the things that is definitely a learnable skill or at least a learnable concept is this idea of what language do they speak and how do they view the world.

If you yourself are a high level individual within your own organizations, you will understand this and you can appreciate that usually that C-Suite level of person is looking much farther down the road than most of our other points of contact within our client organizations.

You know, especially if you’re dealing the frontline people, they may be most focused on productivities or issues that get in their way to do their jobs. If you look at middle level folks, they may be looking at resources that might be necessary to accomplish their own individual goals.

But the C-Suite person is familiar with those things as well as what’s the vision of the company, where are they trying to go, what are the goals, you know, three to five or even longer, down the road, years down the road.

So I think one of the key things, and again it’s definitely a learnable characteristic I see this in the programs that we do kind of the live in person programs we do all the time that there’s a an awareness that people can develop that I think is critical. And quite frankly, it’s not just in selling to C-Suite level folks; it’s true of any of your client contacts.

But as we’ll talk about in a minute here, I think it’s extra critical that we have this awareness and we can try to adopt our C-Suite counterparts world view as we deal with them.

So I’ve got a little exercise for you here. I want you to do this with me now on your own. If you’re sitting in a room with others, great, you guys can compare your answers. But at least for the first part of this, I want you to keep your own answers private. Don’t share them with others in the room.

So I’m going to run through a list of statistics here. And what I want you to do is to think about the entire world’s population. And I’ll show these to you real quickly and then we’ll go back through and I’ll catch each one of your answers.

But consider the entire world’s population. And I want you to think about what percent of the world are male and what percent are female. So look at those two options. I don’t think there’s a third one yet.

What percent of the world’s population is in what we would call the Asian region of the world? Similar geographic perspective, what about North and South America? If you combined, you know, Canada, United States, Mexico and all of our South American friends, what percent of the world’s population does that make up?

Then if you consider what percent of the world’s population can read and write, so are literate? And then finally, what percent of the world’s population have been to college? Not necessarily just graduated but have attended some level of higher learning, all right.

So really quickly, jot down your answers. Go with your gut. Don’t try to outsmart yourself on this. But just go with your gut on this. And let’s spin through this. And let’s see what your world view might be on each of these different items, all right?

So again, what percent of the world’s population are male and female? It’s actually a pretty close 50-50 split. This is the only answer I go to a percentage, you know, decimal point on just because it’s so close. But I dot want to make a point that there are a few more men in the world than women.

And when I have women in the group, some of them may beg to differ on this. I just say men not necessarily good men especially if they’re single women. But that’s the statistics there.

Asian region is 60% of the world’s population, all right. And so, we’re talking about a little more than 6 billion folks in the world so 60% of them are in the Asian region.

Now, this one and the next question are relative to one another. Obviously they would derive from the same hole. And North and South American combined are 14% of the world’s population. United States alone is less than 5%. I think it’s 4.3, something like that.

So again, is this close to what you personally thought? Is it right on target? Or are you some significant percentage point difference from these difference answers? And, you know, we could talk about what is the significant percentage point difference.

Christian, the world’s population, about 30% of the folks in the world would claim to be Christian in some shape or form. What percent can read and write? Almost 1/3. Almost 1/3 of the world’s population. And again, when I do this live with folks, some thinks that’s low, some thinks that’s high. You know, where do you fall?

This is the kicker for me. What percent of the world’s population have been to college? If you thought 10%, you’re definitely a little bit high. If you cut that in half, 5%, you’re still high. Only 1% of the world’s population has been to college.

So what does this mean for us? And again, I don’t know if your organization is one that deals with international clients. If you yourselves may be an international company, maybe you’re calling in from somewhere outside of the United States right now. But certainly for we Americans, these realities are – I mean and just of these particular topics could come into play dramatically when we are dealing with, you know, folks – again, not just C-Suite folks but anybody that we deal with.

The point here is do we recognize how much we see things definitely than other people. And even if we recognize it, are we able to adapt our own mindset to try to maybe not necessarily adapt the person’s world view, but at least be aware of it.

And taking into consideration as we try to work with them and whether it’s just building the relationship or whether it’s going through the exploratory phase of whatever your sales process looks like or actually presenting your information.

You know, can we take the other person’s perspective and their frame of reference and their language and again all those types of things into consideration when we deal with them?

So for today’s webinar, I hope you can come away with three things that will help with your efforts of helping your people be more successful as they try to sell to their C-Suite customers.

Number one; just get your arms around this idea of world view. And again, I would challenge you, you know, if you’re all in a room and we could discuss this together, if I said to everyone you think that people see things differently, most people would say, absolutely, sure we do.

But again, when I do this with live audiences and we’re in the same room and we run through all those statistical exercises, I think people are surprised at the range of answers. I should have mentioned this back at the statistics slide. But it can go anywhere from a few percentage points maybe 5 or 10 of a variance to as much as 30 or 40 percentage point differences especially as it relates to probably the biggest one I usually see the variance on is either the North and South American population and then the one about college.

So again, what’s acceptable? I mean how close is close enough if you’re trying to influence someone to take some kind of action on your behalf which is what selling is all about? Is being within 10% of their idea close enough?

My personal opinion is, you got to shoot for perfection and maybe only a couple of percentage point variance, you know, could you deal with. So again, this whole shared world view thing, a huge factor for me.

The second thing is I think especially again when we’re dealing with these C-Suite people, because their world is so different than our reps, I think it takes a little more homework, maybe a lot more homework for some of our reps to be focused on the same things that they’re focused on, to understand the language they speak and to understand the implications of whatever product or service or solution that you’re trying to sell into that organization, what are the implications of that across the board?

Because again I think some of our most common points of contact, their view is fairly narrow. It’s focused on, you know, their part of the forest, of their world, if you will. And again, the C-level folks are much more broadly focused. So doing our homework is again, important in every situation, perhaps more so in dealing with the C-Suite folks.

And then the last point here is to be focused – and it’s the same. Let me back up a second here. The software won’t cooperate. Again, when you’re dealing with the CEOs as we’ll see in this Quick Take that we’re going to watch here in a second, because their perspective is so broad that when they’re dealing on a particular issue, you know, something that we can impact within their world, all the more critical and important that we’d be really focused on the things that they’re focused on and be very succinct in the message that we deliver.

So don’t go off into tangents. And don’t go off into, you know, wordy explanations or elaborations or how your product or service will potential work more than what they’re ready for.

And again, that’s even a function of that whole world view thing. How much do they need to be able to either make a decision or influence the decision if they’re allowing it to be made downstream?

So since we’re here at this slide, if you’re not familiar with the Rapid Learning Institute, one of the things we do, probably our main offering are these things that we call Quick Takes. And they are 6 to 10-minute narrated videos, if you will, they’re PowerPoint slides but they’re narrated a little bit around different topics.

And so, what I’d like to do, Erik, if you would, is get ready to launch us into watching this Quick Take that we have titled “The Secret to Selling to CEOs” and then we come back out of this. We’ll talk a little bit about what was in the Quick Take and how you can apply some of that stuff with your folks right now. So, Erik, take it away.

Quick Take: Welcome to this Quick Take or sales professionals. Our topic today, “The secret to selling to CEOs”. Wouldn’t it be great if you have an inside track to the CEO at the next company you call on? You know the dramatic difference the CEO’s endorsement can make in opening relationships and closing sales. That’s why you’ve been trained to “sell high,” to aim for the top.

Trouble is, getting through to CEOs is tough, and once you do, salespeople face unique challenges when trying to win the confidence of chief executives.

Here’s a typical scenario. Let’s say (Joe), one of the best sales reps for Superior ball bearing, finally manages to see the CEO at Global Enterprises.

Joe: I appreciate you taking the time to see me. I’ve done some research on Global and I know the new components you’re launching next year are key to your expansion strategy.

The CEO: I see if you’ve done your homework, (Joe). And you’re right. We need a vendor who can deliver top quality product within budget and on time.

Back to Joe: At Superior, we’ve built the reputation for on time delivery and I should also mention our innovative new bearing design. This product has the highest dynamic load ratings in the industry. It can handle shaft deflections better than any our competitors can offer.

Can you guess how the CEO will respond to this? The CEO listens politely but interrupt.

CEO: Joe, I’ve heard good things about Superior. And what you say sounds good to me. You should see Fred and Dave at engineering. They take care of things like that for me. My assistant will give you their contact information.

Now, Joe is a good salesman but he got kicked down to engineering. He missed the golden opportunity to win over the most important decision maker in the company. What happened?

In this Quick Take for sales professionals, we’ll show you why Joe’s approach to the CEO sounds flat. In the process, you’ll learn one, why approaches that work fine with many lower level decision makers fail to capture the CEO’s attention.

Two, three characteristics of CEOs that call for a completely different mindset on your part. And three, the one thing, the secret great salespeople know that virtually guaranteed, you’ll get any CEO’s attention.

So what makes CEOs tick? Three characteristics set CEOs apart from other executives and require a completely different approach. First, CEOs all have ADD, not literally of course but market seller’s approach to CEOs assuming they’re insanely energetic multitaskers who function in hyper-drive.

As a salesperson, just getting on a CEO’s radar screen is murder. Once you’re there, holding a CEO’s attention is even tougher. You need an incredibly tight focused message. One mistake and you’re toast.

Second, they face the highest risk. CEOs set the company strategy which is really about how resources will be deployed. If they get the strategy wrong, expensive resources including vendors like you will be misallocated at a staggering financial and human cost to company’s shareholders and employees.

If you understand the risk CEO is faced in general and if you understand the specific risk that your prospect CEO faces on the project you’re trying to sell, you vastly improve your chances of success.

The CEO is usually the only person in the company whose job it is to think about the future. For most employees, it’s about living in the present, executing the CEO’s strategy. For CEOs, it’s about the big picture. It’s about the long-term.

Let’s look at another scenario. In this case, Brad from Optima ball bearing, Joe’s competitor, meets with the CEO.

Brad: I’ve done some research on Global and I know the new components you’re launching next year are key to your expansion strategy.

The CEO: Yes, we need a vendor who can deliver top quality product within budget and on time.

Back to Brad: I’ve heard your customers are eager for delivery and that you’ve made some promises. What would happen if you missed your production deadline on that project?

CEO: Well, our customers would be upset.

Brad: How would that affect your revenue and profitability?

CEO: There would be short-term cash flow problems. But my bigger concern would be long-term damage to our reputation. The market might see us as a weak link in the supply chain.

Back to Brad: What’s your worst case scenario if you miss the deadline?

CEO: Well, I’d rather not think about that. Let’s just say our employees would feel let down and our investors would be unhappy.

Brad: You know, the project Optima just completed with another customer came in four weeks ahead of schedule. That’s kind of commitment to goals you’re looking for, right?

CEO: Without question, tell me more about that.

Why did Brad’s strategy work? Why was the CEO eager to engage in further discussion with Brad whereas he pushed Joe down the org chart? The answer is simple in concept but requires discipline and focus to carry out and practice. Both Brad and Joe did extensive research and figured out that on time delivery was key to winning the sale. Both mentioned this point in their opening statement.

But Joe from our first scenario from our first scenario, made two deadly mistakes. Number one, he changed subject. He went off on a tangent about quality. Now, it’s not that the CEO didn’t care about quality. Of course he did. But he probably assumed that several vendors could deliver a top notch product. For whatever reason, maybe he recently had a vendor missed deadline. The CEO felt is biggest risk was late delivery.

And number two, Joe fell into techno jargon about load ratings and shat deflection. That’s signal to the CEO that Joe didn’t know who he was talking to. The CEO was thinking, “This guy doesn’t get me.”

Brad, from our second scenario, did three things right. One, he identified one specific theme – hitting the project deadline that was both strategic and mission critical.

Two, because CEOs are ultimately responsible for employees, customers and shareholders, he has questions that got the CEO in-touch with the consequences of a delayed product launch for each of those stakeholder group.

And three, because CEOs live in the future, he controlled the dialog, making sure it was always focused on the long-term risk that company would face if it went with the wrong vendor.

That’s the A-ha in this Quick Take. Think one topic. And think future consequences. Because CEOs are insanely busy, you need a narrow focused strategy.

Communications experts point to the Bill Clinton 1992 campaign slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid” as a classic example of how single minded focus leads to success. His team picked the right topic. One the public was feeling great anxiety about, just do it and won the election.

It’s the same for you when selling CEOs. Identify a focused storyline that taps in the anxieties the CEO feels about the long-term help of his or her company. And hammer it with single minded determination. Do that and you’ll win the CEO’s confidence every time.

To summarize the key point of this Quick Take, let’s eavesdrop on another meeting. We’re back in the CEO’s office where engineers Fred and Dave are meeting with the CEO to decide which ball bearing vendor to go with.

The two finalists, Joe from Superior and Brad from Optima are a thumbs up in terms of likeability, quality, reputation. Fred and Dave favored Joe’s proposal because the price is 10% lower.

The CEO weighs in, “You know, meeting the budget to the penny is less important to me than having the right people on our team who can deliver on time. Ultimately, it comes down to who do we trust the most. Brad just seems to get the challenges we face. I’m confident, if things get tough, Optima will do whatever it takes to hit our deadline. We lower our risk by going with Optima. They’re my choice.”

Next time you meet with the CEO, follow Brad’s strategy. It worked for him. And if you do it right, it will work for you too. Thanks for listening.

Steve Von Hoene: Okay. So let’s talk about that a little bit. And see if there are some things we can pull out of that Quick Take. Now, again, clearly, not every scenario is going to play out exactly like that one did in terms of what the CEO says or what the two different sales reps say.

But in general, I think these concepts absolutely apply. You know, like we said before, the C-Suite level folks, they have what I like to call occupational ADD. They got so many bosses to juggle that, you know, if you can’t keep them dialed in and focused, you’re going to lose them. They’re going to go on to the next topic. So, I think that’s absolutely true and critical to remember.

They’re very sensitive to risk and return on investment. Again, not that your other contacts may not be, it may be a different level of risk. You know, somebody down the line might be worried about overtime cost they’re going to incur or late shipment to the customers which might just get them in hot water, something like that.

But the C-Suiters are much more focused at the bigger picture and a greater number of people or situations that are going to be impacted if something negatively occurs.

So I think, you know, again, whether it’s ROI or productivity issues or whatever it might be, they have a different perspective than most of the folks that we deal with. And it’s relative to the third piece here because they are looking down the road, they are trying to get the organization to a certain point, and therefore they have to take more things into consideration.

I think if I learned anything over the last 20 years of being in sales and sales management, it is again the whole world view principle but as it relates to we’re talking about here, make sure that you understand what the implications are of your solution both to the users as well as others who might be impacted by this.

And I think your most important level of focus should match up with the person you’re dealing with, with their level of focus. Are they interested in just the employees? Are they interested in the end users? Are they interested in stock holders? Are they interested in the impact of the competition? So on and so forth.

So and just in case, I don’t – so I don’t forget this again later I wanted to say earlier, the slide that showed earlier with the statistics are available from Rapid Learning. If you guys would like them, just shoot us an email. And I encourage you to do that same exercise or something like it with your staffs to help drive that point home about this whole idea of world view.

So again, just to come back to what we’re saying here, if you think about the ladder or the pyramid or whatever analogy you like to use as you think about the different point of contact within your customer organizations, at that bottom level of the ladder are what I call the end users or the implementers.

Those are the folks who directly utilize whatever product or services that we sell and are probably most likely to interface with their customers, our customer’s customers.

So the frontline folks are at the bottom level of the ladder. As you consider the purchasing decision relative to us what we’re trying to sell in there, as you go up the ladder, the decision makers or the C-Suite folks I should say are at the top of that ladder, again, just a nice visual to make relative to how broad your focus is and how far down the road they’re looking.

So again, I know I probably sound like I’m beating a drum here or kicking a dead horse but I can’t stress enough how important this concept the world view is. In fact, I would even offer to you, if you’re like many of the managers I’ve worked with and I’ve sometimes fallen into this trap myself, you may recognize other folk’s limitations in terms of how well they can identify with their customer’s world view. You may not see it in yourself.

And my guess is that there are times, I teach this stuff for a living and I still fall into these traps where I get stuck in my own world view. It’s a natural predisposition I guess.

So again, if we can help our folks be dialed into seeing things the way that our customer contacts see them, you know, talking about them or using the kind of language that they like to use, again, a lot of the terms that CEOs or C-level folks or VPs will throw around are not always the same terms that our sales folks use when they’re dealing with those lower level folks.

And again whether it’s ROI or asset utilization or strategic direction or whatever it might be, our folks need to be able to speak that language when they’re in the presence of those kinds of folks.

And, you know, match their speed. Again, like the ADD issue, most executives that I’ve dealt with and I’ve observed other folks dealing with are usually pretty fast paced individuals. Again, they don’t always need a lot of the detail or a lot of the back story behind certain things.

They just want you to be again, laser focused and show them how the results that you can produce will line up with what they’re looking for. They don’t always necessarily need to know how it’s going to happen, just that it’s going to happen. And then of course you need to be able to back that up with testimonials or whatever kind of data or proof sources you have available to you.

And relative to those proof sources, I think it’s key if salespeople can learn to leverage the people that they have available to them that the CEO or the executive level individual would listen to.

One of the things I stress all the time to my programs, these classes when we do these things live, you know, to the sales reps, do you care if you get the sale or if your boss gets the sale? I’ve never yet met an organization where if the sales manager or the VP of sales or you guys or your owner or somebody like that where if they get involved in the sales call that the sales rep loses commission or loses face or whatever.

Everybody on your team wants the sale to happen. And I think, you know, one of the short comings I think of sales reps are that we don’t always leverage the kinds of people who would perhaps better connect with or better identified with some of the C-level contacts.

And it doesn’t even have to be just people in our own organization, it could be C-level contacts, at customer organizations who are willing to give testimonials or take referral calls or it could be other contacts that we have within that client organization who best know how that CEO or that executive is wired, you know, what their point of focus is or what kinds of things, what kinds of issues are paramount to them.

So I think that’s part of the homework though we talked about earlier that our sales reps could perhaps do a better job off is again reading that C-level person as best they can and then figuring out who are the best people to bring into the game and what are the best resources to use in order to achieve, again, the objectives that we’re trying to achieve.

So another key to this I think is relative to this view, this world view perspective and down the road kind of idea. And that’s something that we call preferred situation.

So again, lower down the ladder, most folks, they’ll have a preferred situation, but it’s probably more focused on the here and now. Either solving a particular problem or accomplishing a really short-term goal like some level again of productivity or some measure of quality control or something like that.

But I think for the C-level folks, if we can get them to articulate to us what their goals and desired outcomes are, you know, at some shorter range, point down the road, then, you know, like a five-year plan, but, you know, if this happens and as the Quick Take alluded to, you know, next year with this new market launch, with this new product launch, if we can understand what our CEO’s desired outcomes are or what their goals are or what that picture looks like, you know, those kinds of things and then we can rearticulate our message to them in those same terms, I think we’re going to be really effective at connecting with those folks.

I think another thing that’s key again those C-level folks are very interested in, what kind of impact is this going to have across the organization. So who all will be affected internally as well as who will be affected externally. Again, whether that is stockholders, competitors, other suppliers in the market, you know, complementary suppliers to you, whatever it might be.

And then the third thing is what is the cost failure? And I want to offer just a little bit of not really a caveat but just a caution around taking this approach. I do think it’s an effective approach. I think it’s valuable. And I do think it’s always important to highlight or remind the CEO if you guys don’t make the right decision here, what could be the potential downside, what could it cost you.

I’m just not a huge fan of, you know, scare tactics or threatening. So I want it to be used in that regard. But from a truly genuine standpoint of get them to make sure they are aware of what the potential downside here if you don’t choose the right vendor.

And again, not from a scare tactic standpoint but just to demonstrate to them, I’m aware of those same potential implications as well. And so, I’m going to make sure that they don’t happen, you know, we deliver what we say we’re going to deliver.

So again, just kind of beginning to summarize here, some tips for selling to the C-Suite, I think again, back to it again, demonstrate a shared world view. Again, it is not that you have to adapt it but that you understand it and can reflect it to them.

Be focused and succinct around your message point, whatever that is. Make sure that you have confidence and competence, the sales reps do, when they’re dealing with these folks.

And I said this back at the beginning of our session here today. There’s a huge attitude I think that our sales reps need to adopt. And I’m sure if you think about it, you’ll be able to think of some of your team who don’t have it who are intimidated about dealing with that high level of individual.

Or they’re intimidated, maybe they’re not the strongest, you know, financially minded folks, they don’t crunch the numbers from a profitability standpoint or an alternate investment or cost of inventory carrying cost, those kinds of things. Maybe that’s their weak side. And they know, “Gosh, if I get in front of those CEOs, it’s going to come out.”

A, they got to get better at it then. That’s a competence issue. But more than anything, they have to recognize that they again, have value to bring to the game. And they ought to be able to sit across the table from any contact within any of their client organization and be able to hold their own and speak that other person’s language and talk about and demonstrate the kind of value that you guys bring to the game. And I said this earlier to make sure you can leverage other folks involved in the picture here.

So those are again just kind of a summary tips if you will, around how to sell to the C-Suite. If we’re going to talk a little bit about what we’ve talked about today and what the Rapid Learning Institute itself provides in general, number one, I would say is start with your folks. And again, identify what are the key traits and characteristics or what kind of components does each individual need to possess.

And again, whether it’s a certain financial acumen, whether it’s knowledge of the market and the competitors, whether it’s a broader understanding of their client organizations, whatever it is. Identify those things that folks need to be good at. And again, even some of those personal things like professionalism or confidence or their appearance, their attitude, those types of things.

Another thing I always recommend to clients, whoever you’re trying to call on, my guess is you already have some people within your world who have that same perspective or you’ve had some experience with who are going to be able to help you, you know, coach you on how to handle things, how to speak the language, what things to focus on. Or again, they may be even able to provide some kind of referral or testimonial value by being in direct contact with your customer.

So what I tell folks is go talk to three of your current customers where you have good relationships with at that C-Suite level and ask them what are the kinds of things you like to see in sales reps, what are the things you don’t like to see. Take advantage of those kinds of resources as well.

If your organization is set up this way, you may already have a procedure for if we’re going to go on a corporate level presentation or a corporate level sales call whether it’s exploratory or presentation in nature, is there a laundry list or is there an itemized list of what do we need to do.

And it might be things like, you know, have you looked at their annual report? Do you know who their customers are? Do you know who their top however many competitors that’s important, top three, top five, whatever might be?

You know, have you prepared your documentation? Do you have all the resources? So on and so forth because again, I think one of the things we demonstrate when in front of the C-Suite folks is how organized are we, how in command of the sales process are we. You know, do we demonstrate the kind of characteristics they’re going to want in a partner going forward with their particular project?

And then, again, as it relates to some of the things that we offer from the Rapid Learning Institute, schedule some time for everyone to review and practice the necessary steps of your procedure. And, you know, I would absolutely encourage you, I will talk about this here next but to have your folks be able to watch the same Quick Take we did and take advantage of some of the other what we call IRL resources or Interval Reinforcement Learning.

So let me talk about that just for a moment here and then will wrap up today’s call. How do you make training stick? Well, I think the key thing is to recognize that training is a process, it’s not an event. You know, it’s not a one-time thing that, okay, we covered that last May so you guys should know how to do that. That’s not how it works usually.

There is some level of skill that needs to be developed here. And that takes time and it takes practice. So it is a process, not an event. And that’s really what we’ve done as we’ve built the tools that we have that we offer to our clients are the process that includes a number of follow-up pieces, again what we call Interval Reinforcement Learning.

The Quick Take that we watched is one of those examples for every topic and there are 30 plus topics for sales folks. There’s a little more than a dozen, almost 18 I think for sales managers. So there are a number of different topics that we address through these Quick Takes. And so, many of them or at least a handful of them would be relative to selling to the C-Suite.

So let me just mention to you now what kind of comes out of today’s webinar. When you signed up for today’s session, you’re automatically entered into our system and given a free trial to the selling essentials part of the Rapid Learning Center.

Now, in the next 30 days, you’ll have full access to the program we just watched about selling to C-Suiters as well as I alluded to some of the other what we call Quick Takes that would be relative to that topic. And there’s a number in there about, you know, how to ask certain questions or how to handle resistance, all kinds of things that would be appropriate.

So you see here on the screen now, this is where you’ll be able to log in. So during the program today, we emailed you a web address that would get you to this point with the username and a password. Now if you didn’t get this email, just give us a call and we’ll give you the information you need to get started.

But basically you come to this screen, you log in with your username and then your password. And then obviously at the login screen, what will happen then is you’ll be taken to the pages coming up now which is kind of the front page, if you will, like a table of contents type thing. But it’s the entry portal to all of the resources that the Rapid Learning Center offers.

So you see the home button at the top, my account. In the middle of the top, blue banner button there, you see add users. We encourage you to invite other people from your organization to sign up for the same free 30 day trial so they can poke around and watch all the different Quick Takes and see how things would work and see what other kind of resources are there for them.

Finally if you would need, and let me just talk about, on the right hand side here, you’ll see some Quick Takes that are highlighted under sales leadership resources. So this is as if you were the sales manager.

Above that, you see a topic search box. So if you click on the drop down there, you’ll see a number of different topics. Choose the one that’s most relative to what we talk about or what you’re looking for. So if it’s the C-Suite folks or whether it’s cold calling or whatever might be, you can select one of those things there.

And then again, take advantage of watching the Quick Take. Here’s the entire library. Hold on one second while I clear my throat. Okay, here’s the top part of the library around the sales Quick Take. And you see, you can scroll down, there a number of different topics there. You see about eight or nine down, it says, “Reaching the C-Suite” so that’s a different Quick Take than we watched today but it’s certainly relative to the topic.

Then further down the list, you see the Quick Take that we watched today, “The Secret to Selling CEOs”. The one above it is probably also very applicable, “The Secret to Getting Past Gatekeeper.”

So there are lots of resources there. When you click on a particular Quick Take, it will show you this little menu. The first one obviously is to watch the Quick Take like we did today. But again, all of these other resources are things that you can use with your team to help drive home the concept.

I hope this all make sense. I hope it’s been helpful for you today. Again, if you have any questions at all, we’d be happy. I would love to kind of give you a personalized tour through the Rapid Learning Center so give us a shot if you like us to walk you through some of these resources.

It’s been a pleasure having you here today. I hope you enjoy your free trial to the Rapid Learning Center. Have a great afternoon and happy selling, everyone.

Operator: Thank you for attending today’s program.

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