C-Level Selling and Advanced Selling Skills
C-Level Selling ...
Salespeople's Biggest Weakness
Salespeople know how to prospect -- although
they hate to.
Salespeople can certainly present -- and they love to. They know
they should ask questions -- although most don't and the ones
that do ask self-serving ones.
Salespeople can close -- even though they usually let the
customers do it for them. But there is one thing salespeople do
not do -- selling at the C-Level or to the profit center
Most salespeople don’t on a steady basis get
in front of the C-Level or top decision-makers, and those that
do are very weak at engaging these leaders in meaningful
discussions about the purpose of their purchases -- although
they'd argue they do.
Many salespeople will say, if asked, “(1)
It’s not necessary because the C-levels and top people don't get
involved with their type of sale: or (2) They do get to the top,
but it doesn't make a difference: or (3) These C-levels and top
people are just a rubber stamps.”
Believe what you will, the leaders decide
what will be purchased and from whom. When (1) major sales are
made; (2) a vendor is preferred or gets a major chunk of the
business; or (3) a contractor wins a tough competitive deal --
the one that had an "in", or got to the leadere, or had
connections, was the one that usually won.
Here are 4 typical excuses used when deals
are lost -- price; someone knew someone; we didn't have all the
right stuff; they didn't tell us that was the deciding criteria.
If the salespeople had engaged the top people, they would have
been able to handle all these excuses.
Price -- could
have been discussed in many ways. Senior-level people choose
price only if everything else appears the same.
Someone knew someone
-- yeah -- that's how it works. But in all fairness, that
salesperson had to dig out with that someone what he or she
wanted, and then show that s/he could deliver it better than
Didn't have all the right
stuff -- I'll bet you did, but you didn't know how to
present it because either you didn’t dig deep enough with the
leader or the subordinate didn't want you to win.
Didn't know the deciding
factors -- top people will tell you what it will take
to win their vote – if asked. As for subordinates, most of the
times they don't know, because they focus on what they want, and
what they think the boss wants.
I could go on, but you know that without
getting to the top and picking the brains of these ultimate
decision makers, you're at a disadvantage to the ones that do.
So what's a manager to do?
Train the salespeople. However, training on
the hows and whats is not the issue. Getting the salespeople to
do the hows and whats is. Training on the implementation and
accountability is what both salespeople and sales
Advantages of C-Level Selling Sales
Make Sales, More Sales
and Cross Sells,
Make Sales into Other
Parts of the Company
Avoid Pricing Issues
Overcome the No Budget
More Profitable Sales
Learn Quickly if There
Really Is a Deal
Faster Sales Cycles
Get Referrals and
Introductions to Other Executives
Training costs money. It requires hiring
an expert coach, because you can't do it by yourself. If you
could you would've done it already. Fortunately costs can be
minimized with the various training options available today.
Training takes time and takes sales
people out of the field. However, if you take time to
sharpen the saw, you can cut more wood. But please, don't
wait for the annual sales meeting. Training is important
enough to have its own agenda. It's like saying, "We're
going after a contract, let's wait for the sales meeting to
discuss it." Recognize training is required, but also
realize, it can be regionalize, individualized, and done
should be ongoing rather than an event.
Sales managers have egos and fears. Many
sales managers feel that they can teach their salespeople.
Again, if they could, they would have already. Also, many
managers are afraid that if they ask for training , their
bosses will think poorly of them. Sales managers need to
learn a process and manage to that process. Otherwise, all
the manager does is push, push, push.
That is, do more of the same and expect better
Is it worth it? Perception of worth ties
to the results. What are more sales worth?
Can you really get them with current skill levels?
If cost is stuck in your throat, tie the training
costs to results. However, most will tell you it's not the
material, it's the implementation of what was learned. This
is why coaching, managing, and accountability training is
critical. Did you
learn to swim by jumping in the pool one or two times, or
where you coached.
C-Level Selling is critical to attain
overachieving salespeople. Most sales people do not have these
skills and therefore deliver mediocre results. This is the
missing major element for salesperson.
company to beat competition and dominate their marketplace, they
will have to train their sales people and sales managers to
perform C-Level selling skills. The sooner salespeople start
getting to the top, engaging leaders in meaningful
conversations, and developing professional relationships, the
sooner a company's sales will increase at an accelerated rate.
The longer you wait, the more time your competition has
to C-Level sell.
And now I invite you to learn more.
Bonus Tip: Free Book
– “TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER$”– The Complete Guide to C-Level
Selling - hardback version. Network, get past gatekeepers,
interact with leaders and top executives, secure commitments and
sell more than you ever thought possible.
C-Level Selling Book Link
to learn more about this fantastic offer.
Sam Manfer delivers
key note speeches
selling work shops
anxious to increase sales. His hands-on coaching turns
individuals and sales organizations into selling whirlwinds.
Sam’s selling awards and $ Million sales recognitions support his
methods. His book,
TO YOUR LEADER$ along with his
CD and sales seminars replace selling myths and clichés that
frustrate decision makers with a proven approach that captures
their attention. Follow
C-Level Selling Blog
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