Top sales leaders are proficient in the language of leadership. This is the language spoken by CEOs and other top-level managers who have authority to make purchase decisions. Targeting these key personnel is a great way to grow sales quickly. Here are 10 rules for speaking with those key decision-makers to help you become a sales leader.
1. Start With Why It Matters
Leaders are typically reluctant to talk to salespeople. Get their attention right away by clearly stating why your product matters. Be concise and keep it to 40 seconds or less for best results.
2. Focus on Outcomes
Explain exactly how your product will improve outcomes. For example, exercise equipment for the employee lounge keeps employees healthier for fewer sick days, and a more efficient printer uses less electricity to lower costs.
3. Acknowledge Risk
Sales leaders are knowledgeable about any risks involved in purchasing their products. Go to sales meetings prepared to counter common objections with hard facts showing why the risk is worth it.
4. Provide Hard Numbers
Be ready to share statistics about how your product or services have improved similar businesses. Give specific examples, and keep them relevant. Let the decision-maker know what to expect if he decides to buy.
5. Take On the Role of Trusted Adviser
Know the value of your product and your personal knowledge, and then open up and share that value with your prospective customer. During sales meetings, always present yourself as an equal professional. Leaders with no time for salespeople are sometimes happy to open their doors to advisers ready to help them improve their businesses.
6. Value Time
Sales leaders recognize that time equals money and respect the time of others. When you're meeting with busy executives, it is especially important to stay on topic and prioritize your sales pitch.
7. Don't Talk About Yourself
Keep your conversation focused on the business to which you are selling. Busy business leaders don't want to know your life story. They want to know specifically how you can help them. Do your homework and be ready to translate the benefits of your services to the exact organization that is your sales target.
8. Help Visualize Change
Stories hold interest, but during your sales calls, it is important to choose the right stories to tell. Stick to stories that expand the executive's vision. Use your words to show how his business can be better with the help you are offering.
9. Practice Transparency
The language of leadership is an honest language. Respect those you do business with by always telling the truth. The best sales leaders never promise to meet unrealistic deadlines or offer deals that just aren't available.
10. Give Up Control
In the end, you are not the one who makes the buying decision, so don't try to micromanage your meetings either. Spend your time asking questions and then providing answers. Ask your contact what he wants to see happen next.
Become a sales leader by learning to connect with top executives. Practice their language to show mutual respect and provide the information they need to make good decisions. Remember that a concise description of your products' value is worth more to a busy CEO than any wordy sales presentation.
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