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Managing fear selling to CXOs

Lee Demby
by Lee Demby on Nov 7, 2013 3:03:00 PM

Fear and Self-Loathing in the C-Suite

We've all been there. You have a big opportunity on the table with a major account. You know that if only you could get the CXO's endorsement, you could seal the deal.

Then the call comes: Ms. CXO has agreed to meet with you.

That's when the fear sets in. You've been waiting months to get this meeting but now every time you think about it, you get a queasy feeling in your gut.

If you are like most of us, this fear comes from three places. See if you recognize this internal dialogue:

1. Lack of knowledge: Who is this person? What do they care about? Why did they agree to meet with me? What are they expecting from me?

2. Lack of confidence: This is intimidating! My boss expects me to "have a business conversation" but I don't feel prepared. How can I connect the dots between this person and what I am selling?

3. This is your only shot: This is a rare opportunity. If I don't immediately demonstrate value, the meeting could be cut short--and I won't get a second chance. The fate of the entire account rests on this one meeting!

Pretty scary stuff, indeed.  

While we can't take away all the fear, we can address most of the root causes.  Lisa Video

First: What if you could go into these meetings feeling 100% confident and prepared to have that business conversation? The definition of a business conversation is this: your ability to cite an executive's business initiatives and tell them exactly how your solution can help drive them forward. Imagine for example, you are selling solutions to support customer engagement via digital channels. Would this kind of information help?

Second: Remember that the CXO is a human being just like you and me. She does not want to have a bad meeting any more than you do. She is hopeful you can address some of her many business challenges. She doesn't want you to fail; she wants you to be the rock star you know you are!

So, whether you get the info from us or do your own research, do your homework before these meetings so you are well prepared. For more inspiration, watch this video from Sales Leadership guru Lisa McLeod.

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Lee Demby
Written by Lee Demby

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