Some of the most advanced sales tactics I've ever seen were demonstrated during a weekend seminar given by two purposeful, motivated, passionate salespeople who truly know how to build relationships with executives. These two pros are persuasive and relentlessly positive. Like millions of other professionals in their field, they get up every day and head out the door with a firm sense of the value message they need to convey to their prospects. And like millions of their colleagues, they don't carry a briefcase, a business card or any formal presentation materials--as a matter of fact, they sometimes need help selecting and putting on their clothing. They're children, and the two seminar leaders, Anthony and Nicholas, are my nephews. They truly are masters at the art of enthusiastic persuasion and presentations. Let me explain.
Anthony and Nicholas wanted an hour of uninterrupted playtime from me. And they got it. How, exactly, did they get what they were after? By using two of the "golden rules" of CEOs who sell (I'll give you the other eight shortly). Specifically, they embraced the following: "Be honest about the situation, even when it hurts," and "Redefine the word 'no.' " They used a personal approach that allowed them to start off their "relationship" with a new "prospect" (me) by sending the correct initial authentic message: "We're going to have a blast together--you just watch!"
That, it turned out, was the message I needed to hear. It was a significant motivator for me to find a way to "work" with these two seasoned sales pros. As you read about the 10 golden rules of CEO selling, you'll find that Anthony and Nicolas were as close to the bone as you can get when it comes to embracing a CEO selling style. When they read this article, they'll become totally unstoppable, and so will you!
As you read what follows, I suggest you ask yourself at the end of each one of the "golden rules" how closely you adhere to the meaning of the rule. Of course you'll have to adapt each of your first meeting situations to each rule, but as you do this you must keep the rule's integrity. In other words, don't change the rule--just adapt how and when you use it.
Tony Parinello has become the nation's foremost expert on executive-level selling. He's also the author of the bestselling book bearing the name of his sales training program,Getting to VITO, the Very Important Top Officer, 10 Steps to VITO's Office,as well as the host of Club VITO, a weekly live internet broadcast.