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Selling To The Top Officer
By Bob Garner
There are salespeople who have little trouble dealing with executives. Others can’t get to first base, and still others can’t even get into the office.
Anthony Parinello, the author of “Selling to the VITO: The Very Important Top Officer,” says that getting to the point where you can deal with the top person takes a special strategy. Here are a few:
1) Strive for equal stature. He or she is more likely to listen to a person who is “important” than to one considered an “underling.” Every contact with the VITO is an opportunity to demonstrate confidence and dignity.
2) Be ready to solve problems. Tell what your product will do for their business. Speak in simple, direct terms, and keep within the VITO’s comfort zone. That means avoiding jargon and slang, and also “P & R” – politics and religion.
3) Make friends with the “gatekeepers.” Treat the person who answers the telephone, secretaries, and assistants with the same respect that you give the executive. Your message is more likely to be delivered, and the boss is more likely to be “in” when you call.
4) Remember that a top person is more likely to be a visionary, but not always. Some VITOs keep their head up and look toward the future, while others keep their heads down and just look at the bottom line. If you are dealing with the former and you have a product or service that can help the VITO’s business grow, you are in luck. If you have the latter, chances are less likely that the VITO is concerned with growth, so you may have to alter your tactics with regard to your product’s benefit. Most of the latter VITOs get replaced by the more forward looking VITOs in time, so be patient.
5) Good service is a given, yet try and provide as much additional service as you can. Sales are based on relationships, so keep your word and your promises before and after the sale, and you will be welcomed back in the future to sell more of your product to the top officer.
Bob Garner is the author of "Masters of Motivation" which has been called a “must read” by business leaders. The creator of a number of CDs that have empowered thousands, Bob writes for numerous business magazines and speaks extensively worldwide on motivation, sales, and success. Sign up now for his free monthly newsletter called "Personal Success" at http://www.bobgarneronline.com