Omarr - “1) Ensure my champion(s) is driven to share/promote content that speaks directly with exec goals. Encourage them to voice their ideas/concerns to their execs --> eventually that exec team will want to meet the source of reliable insights and learn more
2) try to prospect higher-up from the start. Once I land first meetings with mid management, I always mention that I've messaged their execs about the same priority for Y amount of time --> they get less defensive and appreciate the transparency) the importance of having an exec meeting must be clearly conveyed to my champion in 1st/2nd meeting maxList
a) the risk of not having that early meeting with exec (no one wants to be in that position if things go badly), and
b) the payoff of involving them early4) assertiveness helps a lot. Confidence I have in
a) my industry insights/value deposits in cadences
b) articulation of no-action impact on client's business and revenue
c) how my solution helps exec KPIs that they care aboutThe more I am seen as reliable/trusted, the better my chances are to get introduced to exec team when I asks) a few tactics that have worked for me:
- "seems your manager really trusts their team to make decisions and consider new solutions, I recommend you and I craft an agenda for our meeting with them, so it is tailored to what they care about"
- "our least successful customers are the ones that don’t have executive level sponsorship. In order for this to really work, we want to make sure ExecX views this as a priority ..." then take it from there
- Instead of asking "whats your buying process like?", I started to ask "What was the last project you brought ExecX that she was excited about?” - thrn go deeper with q's about their process
Our product impacts multiple departments. Without exec buy-in, it’s hard for us to know that the other groups involved will support your decision. The last thing we want to do is launch a project that is destined to fail" , some fear goes a long way.”
David “One highly effective method for reaching executives is utilizing publicly available information about their goals, priorities, or trigger events. It's essential to build a robust target account list and, feed it into LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Google Alerts, and sign up for investor calls. Additionally, consistently monitor press releases and quarterly/annual report launches for all target accounts.
Using public information, you can directly engage the executive who shared the information, ensuring its relevance and allowing you to showcase how you've helped similar companies, perhaps even their competitors, solve similar problems. It's crucial not to overlook these opportunities.
As soon as you discover valuable information, craft a pertinent email and plan a series of calls to request a meeting. Keep in mind that the business may have already found a solution, is in the process of planning one, or is being approached by competitors, so acting quickly is key.
If you need assistance crafting executive messages, one proven tactic is to write and share the message with a similar executive at your own company. Ask for their feedback and request that they adjust it in ways that would cause them to respond. This approach can help you create compelling messages that resonate with the executive you're trying to reach.”
David Weiss’s Market Conditions Analyst Play - Executives constantly communicate with analysts and thought leaders in their category to stay informed about competitor activities, the latest trends, and potential risks or external factors that may impact their industry.
This information is crucial for strategic planning and staying ahead of the curve. To successfully approach executives, leverage this understanding.Craft an email with the subject line "Market Conditions Impacting _________ Space - A Brief for COMPANY NAME." Then, compose an email containing 3-4 insights likely affecting their business. Request a meeting to discuss these matters and share additional information that you believe may be impacting their strategic priorities.
This approach becomes even more powerful when combined with the "Public Information Play."As a side note, it's essential to begin most meetings, especially with executives, by discussing market conditions and their impact on priorities. (Remember the “Amygdala Triggering Play” to execute this well.)Competitive Edge Play - Executives are always eager to stay informed about their competitors' activities. To capture their attention, conduct thorough research on their competition. In one successful deal, I examined all aspects of my prospect's business that my solution could impact.
Next, I profiled three of their top competitors and compared them against those factors, identifying areas where the prospect was ahead or behind.I created a presentation with sections for each competitor, including images, screenshots, and narratives comparing them.
I sent one section via email and a note requesting a meeting to discuss these findings and an offer to share the other two. During the meeting, I walked the executive through my competitive analysis and explained how my firm could help them stay ahead of their competitors and close gaps where their rivals had an advantage. This approach led to a rapidly progressing project because I could engage their executive team effectively by demonstrating value, trustworthiness, thorough research, and well-thought-out solutions. Do you want to gain executive attention? Bring deep expertise and insights and communicate in a language that resonates with them. Field Insight Play - This mobilization strategy is linked to the "End User Interview Play" and focuses on gathering detailed information about a problem within the prospect's business. In this play, you create a set of repeatable questions to understand the problem's specifics, its impact on various stakeholders, and its ripple effects across the organization that are negatively affecting business priorities. The goal is not to sell during these meetings, but to network, gather sound bites, quotes, names, and consistent information, and validate previous data.
Once you've collected this information, use it to secure a meeting with an executive who would be concerned about the problem. Reach out to the executive with a message like, "Hi FIRSTNAME, I've spoken to X people across _________, _________, and _________ parts of your business. During these conversations, we discussed ABC, and I'd like to share some unfiltered information I've gathered from these discussions, which ties to your priorities and may intrigue you."This approach sparks curiosity and concern about what you know that they don't. To be successful with this play, you must do the legwork.
There are no shortcuts; if you don't deliver strong insights, you risk losing credibility and may not recover from it. However, when executed correctly, the “Field Insight Play” can serve as a catalyst to initiate an evaluation of your solution.Circle of Leverage Play - In this play, you are working to create a narrative and visibility among key stakeholders that can’t be ignored. This combines multiple plays inside the “Business Case” & “Executive Alignment” sections. Review those plays to formulate your narrative strategy. Once you have built a compelling reason for executives to speak with you, you can put this play into motion. Before proceeding, it's important to note that this play can be highly effective when executed well, but if done poorly, you risk alienating key buyers. Proceed with caution.Now that your narrative is built, do your homework on the executives involved in the final decision.
For example, I used to sell a solution that impacted the CFO financially, the COO from a field-based operations perspective, and the CHRO as the owner of the successful deployment of my solution. After doing many end-user interviews, gathering unfiltered information, and developing a strong hypothesis on their goals by reading their annual reports and listening to their investor calls, I built a back-of-the-napkin business case tied to a compelling narrative. I then emailed the CFO, COO, and CHRO, all on the same email thread with this information, followed by a few well-timed follow-ups.In this message, I included the information and the value specific to each of them and asked for a meeting to review it. I was clear that I wanted them to challenge my hypothesis so I could learn more, and offered to share how I helped a similar company achieve the results I was calling out.I got a response from the CHRO with all three in copy that they were open to meeting. An hour turned into two hours and yielded a few targeted next steps around proving my math and my proposed solution. Once complete, this tactic led to a $9m TCV deal in <2 months following the executive meeting.
Emily “I focus on teaching/bringing value to the executive level separate from their project. I share thought leadership from articles, news, etc. around business goals I found in their 10K, even if they are not directly related to what I'm selling.
Providing this value builds trust and shows that it is worth their time to talk to me. I have a lot of budget for on-sites right now, so whenever possible I will ask the exec to lunch to do a first meeting in person and build strong rapport.This is an oversimplification but just a brief outline of my process!”