You’ve been desperately trying to get to the big Kahuna. Chasing your great white whale. You think you’ve tried everything that’s ethical. You’re getting impatient.
NEWSFLASH: C-level executives care about other things within their organization that others do not. So if you want to work with this upper echelon client, YOU MUST elevate your sales game by understanding these four levels of value.
The four levels of value are defined as:
Level 1 Value
Anytime you come in talking about your product … your service … your solution … your company … your board members … or what you do … That’s level one and it’s as basic as “sales” gets. You must not be surprised that you are certainly NOT interesting to C-level decision makers. Why? They could care less about any of those things because it ain’t on their radar. It’s not how their performance is measured.
Level 2 Value
Anytime you come in talking about the use of what you sell, C-level execs could care less about any of those things. C-level execs are NEVER going to look at what you do because it’s just not interesting to them. They will not be a user of your solution, so they won’t look forward to meeting you. Got it? Don’t expect a face-to-face meeting.
But wait! You think you offer the highest level of SUPPORT! As far as “support,” the C-level executive expects you to take care of those things. They are a “gimmie” and certainly not interesting to them. An intermediary management stakeholder might care about these incidentals—but definitely not a C-level exec. It’s not how a C-level executive’s performance is measured.
Level 3 Value
A lot of people sell in this arena:
We, you, us … almost all of us speak about ROI (Return on Investment). Yeah, that’s it! ROI! Who doesn’t love ROI?
Many of us are waaaaaaay comfortable here because we can show how we can produce tangible results. It’s familiar territory because we can prove an ROI with measurable, trackable results. It’s not how a C-level execs performance is measured. However, this position is very interesting to the management stakeholder who reports to the C-level executive you are wishing to work with. Most notably because the management stakeholder is trying to execute and make a difference by bringing initiatives to their company.
In order to get to the C-level executive, you gotta get to the highest value level! The one that matters most to them. That’s …
Level 4 Value— THE LEADERSHIP LEVEL
To attain this level and capture the attention of the CEO … YOU have got to talk about STRATEGY because leaders care about STRATEGY.
YOU have got to talk about GROWTH because leaders care about GROWTH.
Leaders care tremendously about EXECUTION and how you can make sure they EXECUTE.
C-level leaders care about CAPTURING MARKETSHARE. They care about SERVING THEIR CLIENTS AND DISRUPTING THEIR INDUSTRY. They’re looking for MASSIVE CHANGE rather than incremental change—the kind that’s down at the bottom at their product level. They could care less about any other solution that doesn’t align with their value system.
So if you want to secure yourself as a “TRUSTED Advisor” that’s aligned with their value system, while positioning you & your company as a “consultative sales person/organization,” you have to move all the way to LEVEL 4!
You will be interesting to the C-level executive when:
You can share strategy because you understand what the C-level exec experiences and needs. You must possess business acumen, employ situational knowledge and offer leadership solutions that will elevate their game. C-level execs are looking for people who deliver those strategies. You MUST have a set of experiences with which you can talk about with or above the C-level executive. And if you don’t …
ALL IS NOT LOST.
What you really need to do is connect with is the “CEO of the problem you can solve.” The “CEO of the problem” is likely the one who reports to the C-level executive. This “CEO of the problem” is most likely someone who cares deeply about ROI, the experience … and giving their people something they can execute with. Tools that their people will want to embrace and use. So you might wish to stay at level 3 … unless you need to move up to level 4. And I’ve just shared with you how to get to your C-level executive.
Have a blessed day!