Today’s sales nugget from Sam Manfer’s book, Take Me to Your Leaders, reminds you that every executive is different, and it can be deadly to spout the “same old party line rhetoric” to everyone.
Typically C-levels, CEOs, CFOs, senior VPs, care about corporate survival, competition, market share, and profit/loss. Mid-level managers discuss quotas, budgets, costs, performance, and immediate subordinates. Lower-levels worry about current projects and functional responsibilities. This is the 80/20 rule and tempts lots of sales people to skip the preliminary investigation and go right to their stock presentation. Unfortunately, when you’re talking with one of these key influencers you don’t know whether you have the 80% in front of you or the 20% in front of you.
Additionally, even if you have the typical person, everyone has his or her own hot buttons making some of the typical stuff more important than some of the other typical stuff. And then, depending on the moment, what was a high priority yesterday may not be the priority of today. And then, if s/he hasn’t told you the issues de jour, how does s/he know you know.
So play it smart. Don’t jump to the “party line” value proposition or your “features” and “benefits.” and run the risk of losing your credibility and the executive’s interest. Always do the ground work. Learn each person’s concerns, and/or confirm what was said last time you spoke. Then spin your presentation to show each person individually how to win with your offering.