Get in the Door of a Large Corporation
If you are trying to expand your business into the field of the large corporation, then timing is very important. When is the Best Time to Contact a C-Level Executive with Services? There is a difference of opinion over the answer to this with respect to consulting services, but with regards to most other services there is uniform agreement.
One author on business recommends in her book that the best time to approach a C-level executive in a large corporation with business consulting services is just after he has been promoted or taken a new position. The theory goes that he is most vulnerable at that time to perform. However, in my experience that is typically the time they are least likely to accept such replacement help. They are in a new position and want to prove themselves. In my actual experience I have found that It is not until after the C-level exec has been at the job for quite some time and has gone stale in their powers that they are most likely to seek outside counsel on their own decision making processes. For most other services the Best Time to Contact a C-Level Executive with Services is right after they have acquired their new position in a new firm.They are most likely to replace any services provided by current vendors with new vendors of their own choosing. This demonstrates their wisdom as a leader in selecting a better vendor, while saving the firm more money or locating a better fit for the firm.
Best Time to Contact a C-Level Executive with Services
As one professional sales agent pointed out to me, who has been reading that book, that trying to locate the person who has just gotten a new position might not be as easy at it may seem on the surface. For example, on LinkedIn you can locate people who have gotten new jobs by notifications within your network or by filtering by the year of the latest position either inside our outside of your network. However, as she pointed out, in many firms the people just shift their titles around and there is no real big change where the C-level executive might feel inadequate enough to consider a business consultant or coach. This is true also of other services but for different reasons. If the C-level executive is in the same firm with a different job they are less likely to rock the boat by changing vendors. It is not the Best Time to Contact a C-Level Executive with Services. It could tarnish the previous C-level executive’s reputation and put the current one into bad standing with the other C-level executives in the firm.
The personalities of people who are typically promoted to C-level executive positions in large corporations are such that they are overly confident of their skills. You discover this with exposure to many C-level executives over time. I believe that author has had very limited experience at offering services to this level of business professional and therefore has drawn inaccurate conclusion from the very few C-level executives she has had interaction with trying to sell consulting services. For the typical C-level executive, though, it takes some time of failure in their positions before they are open to the support of a business consultant or a business coach. That means your networking skills will have to take the patient track and nurture a longer term relationship before you see the full fruit of that relationship.The Best Time to Contact a C-Level Executive with Services for consulting is after quite some wait time of two factors: when he started his position and when you started the relationship. Remember that the sale is build on trust and need, neither of which are ripe at the start of either of those two factors. It is a multivariate problem. For other services, there may not be a level of trust yet, but need always trumps trust in the sale, as long as there is no mistrust because of how you have presented yourself.
The Process of Winning the C-level Executive
Find the person who was recently promoted to a new C-level executive position within a different firm than where he last worked. Befriend him and listen to him, much more than talking. Do not offer suggestions. Do not offer to solve his problems for him. Just listen. Eventually, over time he will consider you a very wise person and a great listener. He will also count you a trusted confidant. When he hits a dry patch of ground and is failing he will turn to you. You could be working about 15-30 relationships in this way that are at different stages.
Step-by-Step Answers in Detail
To find out:
- how to conduct such searches
- how to select the right individuals to reach out to
- how to compose your first point of contact communication
- many ideas of how to nurture these relationships
- how to know when the relationship is ripe for your pitch
- how to close the deal
- how to service the agreement to his satisfaction
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