Friday, April 17, 2009

Kurt Haug on Your Elevator Pitch - Selling to the CEO

Kurt Haug has a great blog.........he often speaks to the CEO
and others who want to get a CEO or CFO's ear. This article
appeared on Enjoy...

Elevator Pitch
Corner Office Conversations
What's so HARD about selling to a CEO?

Nothing—if you know what you’re doing and use a little common sense.
C-Level Executives are Smart. And Busy. C-Level execs looks at a potential
purchasing decision the same way as anyone else-- WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?).

And frankly, they couldn’t care less about what YOU have to sell.
There are only a small handful of things that they really care about.
If you have something to contribute on those issues, they're all ears.
If not, they really couldn’t care less about whatever it is you're pitching.
So what does a CEO or CFO care about? I’m not talking about on a personal
level, but as part of his or her job. And to get there, he or she must have been
pretty good at it.

Pretty focused. And 95 times out of 100 the CEO, COO and CFO are going to be
most highly focused on the financial performance of the company relative to
the goals and objectives serving the shareholders. So that should be easy, right?

More sales, more profits—what else is there?If it was really that simple, do you
think those execs would be pulling down the big bucks?
To gain the credibility necessary to
a) get a C-Level exec’s attention and
b) keep it for more than 30 seconds, you need to do better than that.

First of all, you have to truly have a desire to not only help them succeed personally and professionally. No, really. I’m serious. The superficial, “who loves you baby, let’s do lunch,” approach will not work at this level. They’ll see right through it.

Secondly, you have to be able to let them know how you’re going to help them succeed-- in the context of what they care about and in the language that they understand. And do it first in 30 seconds-- and if you’re lucky, you’ll get another 10-15 minutes to go into detail.

Once you actually get that golden opportunity to meet the "top dog," you'd better know what to say, and even more importantly HOW TO SAY IT.And that’s what Corner Office Conversations is all about.

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