There are many different people within our accounts that can have some degree of control over our sales process and our sales results. At a minimum they can have a degree of approval in the decision making process of whether to buy our product or service or not, and even whether to buy it from us and our company. That’s why we need to be, what I call, “positively positioned,” within our accounts with all of these levels of buyers. The larger, more complex the sales opportunity, the more critical this statement becomes.
In each of our accounts, no matter the size, there are always three levels of buyers. The first and most important top level is called the CEO Level – often described as the C-Level. Every C-Level officer within a company falls into this group, from CEO or owner of the company, to CFO, CTO, CIO, etc. (These are Chief Executive, Financial, Technology, and Information Officers.) We don’t necessarily need to be on an extremely intimate level with these people, but we do need to know who they are and what they do within the account.
These buyers also need to know us, who we represent, and what we can do for their organizations. There is nothing more powerful in an account when meeting with a lower-level buyer, than to have a C-Level buyer walk by and give us a personal greeting, which we can return in an equally friendly manner! (“Good morning, John.” “Good morning, Bob. How are you doing today?” That short interaction with a C-Level buyer will carry a lot of weight with our lower-level buyer, if they witness it. Don’t be surprised afterwards if you get a question from your buyer asking how you happen to know the CFO of the company.)
When the time comes to bring the higher-level buyer into the selling process, if needed, then we have to be what I call “positively positioned” with them prior to this point in our sales process. Otherwise, any competitor who is selling the account from the Top – Down, has a definite advantage over us.
Next, let’s talk about the concerns of C-Level buyers and how to use those concerns to our benefit in selling the account.