During a recent training event on how to deal with the most senior of people at your buyer organisation, part of the journey involved my asking of the assembled salesforce what each considered such a top person wanted to hear from a “rep”, the first time you met. In their arena, when this occurs it typically lasts just five minutes. The collective consideration stretched to twelve items. How many do you think hit the nail on the head?
- What you can do for me
- Provide certainty
- Client focus
- Remove risk
- Deliver on time
- Tailor-made solution
- Implementation ease
- Won’t be let down
- Make life easier
- Provide personal recognition
Whilst several have merit, I feel the key concept is not on this list.
My experience of such situations (from both whom I’ve met when selling myself and my personal perspective when my organisation is buying something of substance) is that a certain ground-level of knowledge already exists. In such forum your only task is to sell yourself.
The best way to do that is talk about the things that, either today or tomorrow, affect the way that the person you’re meeting thinks about their role.
Regardless of whether your product impacts on such areas, passing on expertise that you possess about how other people in similar positions are tackling today’s issues or planning for tomorrow’s is surely the number one way to gain traction. Whether global problems or industry-hot challenges, your insight into how other, similar people are reacting to them is the vital differentiator in the eyes of the Top Person.