How to Sell to CIO’s – A few Simple Steps
Many Account Executives and sales people reach out to many more CIO’s on a daily basis. Back in the 80’s when I started my career ( in sales ) this process was called cold calling. This meant that you had never spoken to the person you were calling, it was cold as opposed to warm, the call was without connection/relationship. Personally I never really liked making cold calls, but it was the only way at the time to make contacts which would then possibly turn into a sale.
Fast Forward to 2011, and the cold call has turned into the “Cold Email”, literally. I know many of you probably receive these on a daily basis. Many of you as sales people send these as well. They come from a person and company you do not know, they typically attach a bunch of white papers you need to read, and make statements about their products and solutions that are more from their sales perspective and do not really connect to your business or your current needs. In this day when social media is so PRESENT, being used to stir political change in nations, let alone as a means to connect, here are a few simple tips for sales people looking to sell to CIO’s
1) Do some research on the CIO/Company beyond what is in your sales tracking system, find out more about their problems, pains and challenges. What are they dealing with as an organization, how are they positioned in the market/sector. If you are going to spend time and energy why not sell strategically to pain and problems, otherwise you are simply a commodity…….
2) Why do you always want to meet CIO’s in person ? If you are selling in another city why are you prepared to spend time and money to travel, don’t you realize that there are new tools available for all of us to connect without meeting in person. So before you suggest you are available and that the CIO should pick a time, why not be creative in how you meet, Teleconference, Webinar, Second Life, Skype…….
3) How are you using Social Media, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn (and the list goes on). Many CIO’s exist in these places for reasons beyond connecting with sales people, why not leverage those tools and build relationships that way. It is low cost, high impact and if you are selling in the Tech world it actually shows you are not afraid to use the tools. Check out my Open Letter to Tech CEOs.
I really believe that the time has come for Account Exec’s to change their approach in our fast paced world !
So, do a little research and then decide you will offer a different value proposition in the way you connect.