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Get To The Top In Sales

Aug 17, 2008
As an entrepreneur trying to sell your product or service, you want to get to the top by selling directly to the top-to the presidents, CEOs and other top decision-makers in the companies you target.

Have No F.E.A.R.

Too often it's fear that prevents us from placing calls to people at the highest levels, so just think of it as F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real). The assumptions we make about top decision-makers may or may not be accurate, but we let those assumptions make us nervous and hesitant. Why? Because we may look at them as Lions or grisly bears, ready to devour us. Or simply, we cannot stand rejection. We have to remember that company CEOs and presidents are just people. Studies have even shown that more than 80 percent of CEOs were in sales at one time or another, so they know what you are going threw.

They have great respect for people who have the skills and the tenacity to make the calls. There are many advantages to selling at the top of the heap. For example, by working at the top, makes it easier to get a better overall view of the company and how they make decisions. Even if you don't reach the top gun, you'll probably speak with his or her assistant, who can still provide valuable information and direct you to the right person who does handle your type of product or service. Then, when you call that person, you can mention being referred to him or her by such-and-such from such-and-such office. Another advantage to selling at the top is the establishment of important relationships. There's an old saying: "The bigger they are, the nicer they are." Believe it or not, it seems to be true. I've met a lot of executives over the years, and they're the nicest, most down-to-earth people you'll ever want to know. The kind of people who appreciate others with those qualities and enjoy talking to people with the same kind of enthusiasm they've had in their careers. They're usually secure in their positions. And if you're straightforward with them, they'll reciprocate. Though they won't always do business with you, they'll usually take the time to guide you in the direction of someone who will.

Remember these pointers:
  • Do your research. Learn as much as you possibly can about the individual, the company and the industry ahead of time. There are so many resources available today, so there's no excuse for you. Most companies have Web sites that provide information about their products and services. Once you get that information, think of ideas on how to help the company improve or generate more business. Only then should you make your calls.
  • Remember the gatekeeper. Don't think the decision-makers are only the people with the big titles. And don't ever underestimate the gatekeeper's ability to influence the decision-maker. Show respect to assistants, receptionists and secretaries. Treat these people well, because they're often the ones with the most valuable information about the company and its employees. Moreover, they generally have enough influence to get you in to see a busy top executive-or keep you out.
Practice selling to the top whenever possible. You may not hook up with the main decision-maker every time, but remember it's always easier to sell from the top and work down than to try and push your way uphill.
About the Author
Stephen Gandy is the owner of http://GandyHomeBiz.com . To find out more information about this topic, please visit us at: http://GandyHomeBiz.com
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