Cold calling the c-suite happens in the early stages of the selling process and is the ability to make things happen. However, calling the c-suite unprepared would lead to the early demise of your sales career. No, cold calling is not a thing of the past. There is enormous potential in cold calling higher-level executives. Cold calling can enable a sales professional to:
- Take ownership of their business
- Pre-empt the competition
- Establish a relationship with higher-level executives
- Build up your personal reputation
- Create new business opportunities
So don’t readily dismiss this useful tactic. Instead, learn to exploit it.
What is Cold Calling?
It is not only the first cold call made to contact but could also be the first face-to-face meeting without an appointment or even the first email. In essence, cold calling c-suite is the ability to approach executives professionally, openly, and meaningfully—providing a valuable solution to their problems. You can’t just deliver another cold calling script. Cold calling, when done right, enables the sales professional to interpret, define and command the situation at hand. All great leaders, entrepreneurs, and salespeople must possess this ability, and now you can with some of these tricks.
Top 5 Tricks for Cold Calling C-Level Executives
Here are the five things you need to do for successful C-Suite cold calls:
…so you can be an advisor. As a sales professional, you are expected to solve a problem or create a new competitive advantage. This means you must be supremely confident in your solution, but also talk business with high-level execs. Anthony Iannarino says, “You have to have the business acumen to be able to speak to them in their language, and the language of business is often financial or strategic. This means you have to be able to read a financial statement and that you are as good with Microsoft Excel as your nearest CFO. You need to be able to prove your points, and this includes ROI. You also need to know how they compete and their strategic advantage in their market.” The bottom line is those who run businesses are interested in doing business with others who are interested in business.
To be effective you need to see yourself as an equal to the task. This is not just an impersonal numbers game, and you need to stop seeing it that way. Instead, it is a professional to professional conversation that you need to prepare for mentally. Visualize how you want to be regarded by the people you speak to – and you will grow into and live up to that image. For example: “People I speak to will regard me as a highly professional business person – beyond a salesperson or a telephone canvasser. They will think of me as someone they can trust – an expert in my field, someone who can enable improvement, clarity, cooperation, solutions, etc., completely irrespective of my actual job title.” The professionals of businessballs.com also say you should try standing up, eat and drink properly, and do all you can to decrease your stress levels and improve your overall mood.
The bounteous Internet not only gives your prospects the ability to look into you but also helps you find out more about potential clients. When preparing to cold call executives you must ask around in the organization and zero in on the decision-makers. When preparing to cold call executives you must ask around in the organization and zero in on the decision-makers. Craig Rosenberg also suggests you, “find something, anything that allows you to connect with the buyer. Linkedin, InsideView, Hootsuite, Radius Intelligence, Google, your CRM notes…whatever it is. Don’t call and read a script. Make it personal and change the nature of the relationship from buyer-seller to business person-business person.” Even better, find a referral, because that is the best way to receive immediate trust.
After you make your reason for calling clear, you need to get down to business. Do not waste your executive’s time. Ago Cluytens in his example of a cold call says, “Once they’d made their point, they went on to explain why it mattered and asked whether it was relevant to me. If it was (and only if it was), they asked clarifying questions and started giving me valuable advice and insights that I could use right then and there.” You might need to forego rapport-building in favor of doing business, especially in the first call.
If you take the traditional, pushy sales approach you won’t be on the line long. This is not a one-sided conversation of a self-interested salesperson. The best way to learn is to listen. “The best consultants listen actively whether or not the answers are what they are looking for,” DiResta says. “They ask the right questions.” Then listen and interpret.
Cold calls to C-suite should be:
- Honest and open
- Straight forward
Cold calling is not optional! Here are some more tips from the Rapid Learning Institute that will help you nail the first 20 seconds of every C-level cold call you make.
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Meta description: Cold calling c-level decision-makers may not sound like a prudent idea, but it has its advantages. To learn how to do cold calling effectively, you will have to read and understand this post.
Author: Usman Raza is the co-founder of a Christian Social Media Agency and marketing strategist working with various brands online. Usman is the content marketing manager at SeedX Inc in Los Angeles, PSD to WordPress, and Nano Hearing Aids. He is devoted to helping small businesses bridge success gaps by providing in-depth, actionable advice on digital marketing, SEO, and small business growth. Follow him on Twitter @usmanintrotech.