How to Market to the CEO

David Collins Director of Sales Eagle Creek Golf Club I recently attended a Jeffrey Gitomer seminar, author of The Little Red Book of Sales. One of the points he made was that it is much easier to make a sale to the guy making the budget versus the guy following the budget. If you can show value and if you can show that you can increase the bottom line, there are very few CEO’s in the world that will not talk to you.

Case in point: if you were the guy mopping the floors at Office Depot and asked 25 customers a day what they liked about the store and what they would like to see differently and then compiled that information into a report, odds are you could get an appointment with the CEO at their home office in Delray. (For you folks keeping score, that is 6,500 surveys in a year). The point is, if you have valuable information or valuable contacts, YOU are VALUABLE and people that can make decisions will see you. 

Let’s bring it down to you. You have this list of prospects that are on your HOT LIST for 2008. I have an idea on how you can sell to all of them.

Put together valuable information that will help the CEO make more sales. Yes, saving money is good but CEOs want to hear how they are going to increase their profit. They can figure out how to save money. Find a way to show that your product is going to make them more profitable.

Everyone can go on the internet and pull the same information so you need something more valuable. Remember the movie, Wall Street? Gordon Ghecko wanted inside information. I’m not saying to do something illegal, I’m saying dig deeper. One of the best sources for information is a sales person of that company. Have a cup of coffee with him and you will know what makes the company tick and even what school the CEO attended.

You’ve done your homework and your information is just as valuable as what our janitor friend gathered. Now what do you do? Simple answer! Invite the CEO out for a round of golf. Call the CEO, and leave the following voice mail, “Hello Mr./Mrs. CEO, after doing some research, I have some valuable information that will make a positive impact on your company’s bottom line. I would like to share it with you. I have a tee time at _____________________ and I hope you can join me!

Your call will be returned. Does this take work? Of course it takes work but the good news is that after you have given this information to the CEO and made friends with him (or her!), you are going to get a sale. And the real good news is that CEO is going to be LOYAL to you. 


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