This Trail should have equipped you with a better understanding of how a CxO’s mind works, allowing you to speak their language and connect with them. Here’s a summary of the key takeaways from this Trail.
Understanding a CxO’s priorities will help you connect with them effectively. As Nissan Joseph highlights, a CxO has to make tough decisions, rapidly switch between contexts due to the wide reach of their responsibilities, and oversee the growth of the company. When they’re meeting with a salesperson, three questions run through their mind: is this strategically aligned with the vision of the company? Does my team have the bandwidth to execute on this? Does this make financial sense? Simon Tate doubles down on this, stating that to get a CxO to care, you’ll have to demonstrate financial impact in terms of revenue and profits.
Both Matt Loop and Simon Tate agree that the best way to reach out to a CxO is through a warm introduction from someone in their peer group or executive team. Having someone the CxO knows and trusts vouch for you will help you begin the relationship with a baseline of trust and credibility. Seek to find mutual connections who can speak highly of you to the CxO you’re reaching out to – this makes a huge impact.
All of the Thinkfluencers in this Trail agree on one thing: skipping the research is not an option. CxOs are constantly being sold to, are bombarded with LinkedIn connection requests, and can spot poorly researched communications from a mile away. They’re also human, just like you. Make sure that you’re investing a good deal of effort into researching them, their organization, and their industry. Dive deep into their competition, the nature of the problems they’re solving, emerging issues both upstream and downstream of their business, and the opportunities that exist around the corner. Use all of this information to craft a highly personalized outreach message that delivers value and will stand out from the rest.
As Matt says, easy and sleazy tactics are guaranteed to land your email in a CxO’s bin. Skip the mass emails, templates, shady strategies, and be genuine and respectful. Don’t feel entitled to a CxO’s attention – earn it by delivering value and insight first. And being rude to their EA will not win any brownie points, so be polite always.
As Amelia Green says, your experience and insight should be what you’re selling to a CxO, your product is merely the enabler. Simon Tate resonates, stating that you should lead a meeting with a CxO with insight and value. Don’t use the limited time you have with them to ask them questions about their business – you should have done this research beforehand. Don’t also dive into a pre-rehearsed script and a ton of slides. Instead, think of the first meeting as a conversation and an opportunity to show that you understand their business and have the expertise to make an impact on their growth and financials. How have you solved these issues in the past? What are some cross-industry insights you can reference? Can you tell them something they may not already know?
Simon also argues that you should make sure the problem you’re talking to the CxO about is big enough for them to care.
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Chief Knowledge Officer