Monday, November 26, 2007

Confronting Your Dragons

Canadian sales guru Kelley Robertson offers some good advice today to anyone trying to sell to senior business people – and he got the idea from watching TV!

“While watching a television show featuring several very successful business executives, I noticed how direct these individuals were in their communication. No skirting around issues. No hesitation to challenge others. And certainly no fear of asking direct questions.”

Doesn’t this sound like Dragons’ Den to you?

For Robertson, watching this unnamed show reinforced four points that all marketers should consider when selling to senior executives:

1. Ask tough questions. “Most sales people fail to probe deep enough when talking to C-level buyers.”

2. Focus on the big picture. “Shift your thinking to a macro view.”

3. Focus on ROI. “Skip the features and benefits” and focus on the tangible impact your product will have on the customer’s business.

4. Don't take it personally. “Don't be put off by what an executive says or how they say it."

I would add one another point: Know all you can about the individuals you are going to meet. Focus on their personal interests and needs. Some pitchers on Dragons' Den do better when they target just one or two dragons, rather than the whole group. After all, individuals make buying decisions.

You can listen to Robertson’s full article on his podcast here. (It's Episode 50.)
Or sign up for his free "59-Second Tip" e-newsletter here.

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