It was late one Tuesday afternoon when my office phone rang. I braced myself for another annoying cold call. It would be the fifth or sixth of the day—I’d lost track. As the Managing Partner of our firm, I’m on the receiving end of a steady stream of calls from people who want to “partner” with us. And by “partner,” they mean writing them a check for whatever they are selling.
“You don’t know me,” the caller started out. Surprisingly honest for a sales call, I thought. Most unsolicited callers try to fake familiarity by using my first name and pretending we are long-lost buddies, eager to catch up.
“I think we may need your help,” he continued.
The caller introduced himself as the Chief Executive Officer of a mid-sized consulting firm, squarely within our target client profile. “I’m not familiar with your firm,” he explained, “But by the time a fourth person left a copy of your research study on my desk, I figured we needed to talk.”
At that point, I realized I was likely talking to our next new client.
And talk we did. He explained their current dilemma and how our study had spoken so directly to their business challenge and how it could be solved. Now he wanted to understand how we might apply that insight to their firm. How long would it take? What would it cost? What would they have to do to support our efforts?
That’s what marketing to C-suite executives looks like today.
How C-suite Buyers Have Changed
Because we specialize in professional services marketing, many of our clients target C-suite executives. We also have an independent research organization that conducts extensive research on professional services buyers and the firms that target them. This knowledge base gives us a unique vantage point to view the evolution of C-suite marketing and sales.
Here are some of the trends we are seeing today:
- Key purchase decisions are being made by teams, not individual decision makers. This means that the task is to target the team and those who influence it, rather than an individual C-suite decision maker. Yes, an executive can override a team decision, but in practice most C-suiters are loath to do it. These are the people they rely upon to get things done and to bring them new ideas. These team members are often the most direct and trusted route to influence decisions.
- Executives are awash in information but hungry for insight and understanding. Information overload, content clutter—however you label it, executives are pummeled with information every day. What they crave is What does this mean for me and my situation? How do I understand this new threat? Is this problem worth my time to solve?
- Don’t waste their time with stupid questions. It’s often said that there are no stupid questions. Wrong. Try asking a C-suite executive what keeps them up at night. A stupid question is one that you should already know the answer to. If you don’t …read more
Read more here:: B2CMarketingInsider