Chapter 7

How to Create Value for the C-Suite

Executives believe that meetings are a forum for exchanging ideas, and they are prepared to be led by a skilled questioner along a path of discovery in the hope that the salesperson knows what he needs to find out from the executive in order to make appropriate recommendations. Salespeople who ask the right questions to uncover problems impress senior executives.

Salespeople with experience selling to operations and middle management personnel must therefore modify their approach at the executive level. Those who give a boilerplate presentation on why their product is the best are unlikely to make progress. A number of executives told us that they feel that these canned speeches mean, “The salesperson ...

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