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The High Stakes to Sell to An Executive
In most situations, 3 minutes is all you have to sell to an executive.  Our C-Level clients tell us that unless you can capture their attention in that short time, some other competitor or concern will quickly push you off his/her mental stage.

Executive selling training professionals have lots of advice on how to sell to an executive when you have a half-hour on stage or in person. But here is an outline, minute by minute, of the points you should make in only a three-minute presentation to effectively sell to an executive.

Preparation
Before you even begin, however, you need to do your pre-call sales planning and research – as much research as if you had several hours scheduled to make your pitch. Executives do not want to waste their time filling you in on the kind of information you can uncover on the internet, in conversations with industry experts, by reading trade periodicals, or working your contacts elsewhere in the organization.

Learn all you can about the industry, your customer and their competition. Then carefully plan your 3 minutes using the following guidelines.

  1. Minute 1
    From your research, describe the salient external factors and what you understand to be happening currently in the company that matters most to them. Identify one major and pressing issue and talk about its impact on the organization. If you talk about more than one business challenge, you will lose focus.

    Save the other issues for your next appointment if they are relevant to your offering.

  2. Minute 2
    Tell the story (from the customer’s perspective) of how your value-added solution will change the company’s future for the better based.  Ground your story with a combination of your unique value proposition, provocative insights, and relevant marketplace research . Use data and compelling client examples to illustrate your point.

    Executives are big picture thinkers but they want to know that there are real numbers and rewards behind your claims.  Relevance and metrics matter.

  3. Minute 3
    If you have been talking non-stop, it is probably a good idea to spend a moment to check that you are on track. Of course, you should be watching body language throughout to be sure you have eye contact and that the executive shows curiosity in facial expressions.

    Beyond that, simply ask the question if what you are describing resonates.  Then finish off with a call to action. It could be to set the next appointment or to talk with other decision makers or to furnish more in-depth information on your solution.

The Bottom Line
Time’s up. If you feel you have just run a marathon, indeed you have. You covered a great deal of ground succinctly and persuasively. Good luck in the follow-on race.

To learn more about selling to executives, download 5 Field Tested Tips to Better Sell to the C-Suite

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