Tips For Talking to the C-Suite Part 2

Talking to The C-Suite

If you missed part one, go back and check that out first.

You did the research, you identified the right prospect, and you connected and built rapport. They liked you and your product or service enough to get you in front of their peers. Presentation booked. Now what?

Well. You have to nail this presentation because if it sucks you won’t get another shot. Nobody likes to have their time wasted, and the decision maker that got you here will get blamed if you bomb. So here are 3 things you can do to make sure you go in with a solid presentation.

1. Make the Presentation About Them

Gone are the days when you could make a whole presentation about how awesome your product or service is. It’s easy and requires little prep to prepare, which is my guess why lazy salespeople still do it. But like Proverbs 19:15 says “Laziness casts into a deep sleep, And an idle man will suffer hunger.” Spend the time and make THEM and THEIR problem the centerpiece of your entire presentation. Then, save a few slides at the end for how you and your company are uniquely positioned above the competition to solve said problems.

A good way to do this is by using a commercial insight for each job function in attendance. This will teach them something new that is going to reframe how they think about their business. Be careful with this method though, it can lead to your presentation becoming a lecture. Be sure to build in plenty of open-ended questions to keep it conversational. And don’t simply ask questions to listen with an intent to respond. Listen to what they are saying with the intent to understand.

2. Put Some Emotion Into It

People buy based on emotions and then justify that purchase with data and facts. Brush up on those storytelling skills because a fact embedded in a narrative is 22 times more likely to be remembered. Think of the potential customer’s problem as a knife and your storytelling as the person twisting it. This can be tough if you’re a new business with not many personal horror stories of clients who left similar problems unresolved. If that’s the case you’re going to have to do some Google sleuthing to find some generic ones. Don’t disregard the value of making an emotional impact, it can make or break your sale.

3. Make The Next Steps Clear and Book The Next Meeting

After the Q&A session at the end of your presentation, you’re going to ask them something along the lines of: “We covered a lot of information today and I hope we addressed everyone’s questions and concerns. That being said, do you see the value of our solutions relative to the problems you all mentioned that are critical to solving?” If the answer is no, well, like Jay-Z said, on to the next one. If they say yes it is IMPERATIVE you lock down the next interaction point before you leave. Do this by having both parties complete actionable items. The customer’s buying process will always involve the next step. Very rarely, if ever, will they buy on the spot. If you don’t know what that step is you didn’t ask or you weren’t listening. It sounds something like this. “You mentioned accounting would have to go over these numbers so I’ll send them over to you in the follow-up email. Can you have them look those over and we reconvene to discuss next Thursday? If not what day works best for you?”

Bonus tip: Send that follow-up email no longer than 3 hours after the presentation if possible. Customers never remember sales presentations as fondly as you do. Summarize what was discussed, how you both agreed on the ways your company solves their problem, and reiterate the next steps. 

Now go make that money. 

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