Connecting with the C-suite can be a challenge. In fact, a recent Harvard study reported that senior leaders only spend 2% of their time on new suppliers. But if you’re a B2B company, these senior leaders are who you are most likely targeting to sign on the dotted line.
So how do you get in the door?
The C-suite is short on time and patience. Everyone wants something from them. And because they spend so little time on potential new vendors and service providers, you need to provide messaging and outreach that provides value, shows them how they can save time and/or money, and establishes trust.
As you work through your content strategies and marketing campaigns geared toward these senior decision makers, keep the following 3 tactics in mind:
1. Provide stats
Senior leaders are interested in making decisions based on insight, analytics and what the market is asking for. Show them that you understand their needs and the current state of their market, and provide them with the evidence that will support any changes or additional services you can provide. Use numbers to show them how you can make their jobs easier.
2. Use trust to establish trust
In other words, find out which brands, services or partners the C-suite trusts and show the ringing endorsements and case studies you have from those same organizations. Prove your worth and trustworthiness by providing testimonials and examples of success you’ve implemented for those whom senior leaders already have valued relationships.
3. Forget bait-and-switch, it’s about consistency
I don’t think you have to be a part of the C-suite to be wary of service providers or companies that introduce you to one person and then switches you over to another (or two, three, four…) However, for senior leaders that are heavily influenced by trusted relationships, don’t swoop in with your top sales person and then move your intended client over to the junior account manager once a contract has been signed. Keep the main point of contact consistent throughout the entire process as you are vetting, building relationships with and ultimately securing the C-suite.
Bonus: Step out of your office and into theirs. Lasting relationships are built on trust and are solidified with face-to-face connections, especially with senior leaders. Email, social media and even phone conversations are not always enough to make a prospect comfortable. Brush up on your meeting skills and offer to make a brief in-person presentation or to answer any questions they might have.
What are your challenges in terms of engaging the C-suite and solidifying the sale with senior leaders? Let’s discuss!