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Common Questions and Answers
It’s the meeting for which you’ve been waiting.
Finally, you’ve been able to secure a meeting with the CEO of the company you know you can help. For the past year, you’ve been researching the company and developing relationships with as many people as possible.
In particular, you have gotten to know the two gatekeepers who have been up to now blocking your way to the CEO. Last week your call to the administrative assistant finally hit home and you’re on the CEO’s calendar in three weeks.
Now is the time to get ready.
“Peer comments/questions” are those things you can share briefly with the CEO or gatekeeper that allow them to see that you are aware of the environment in which they operate — and that you are comfortable talking about those things.
By positioning your peer comment as a question, you not only have the ability to share something with them, but you also will engage them in conversation. Making a peer comment/question part of your opening dialogue with the CEO will reassure the CEO that they are not wasting their time with someone who does not understand how valuable the CEO’s time is. It also demonstrates that you comprehend their level of decision-making responsibility.
Remember — your peer comment/question is not the opportunity for you to share your 5,000 word opinion on a topic. Your comment/question should be brief and framed as an opening to get the CEO to share their opinion.
It is not necessary for the peer question/comment to relate directly to your meeting topic. In fact, is better if it is on a completely different topic. You will show the CEO that you do not have tunnel vision and you have a broader understanding of the world in which they operate.
If you’re wondering why I use the term “peer,” it is because the topic you’re bringing up is designed to be a topic the CEO may very well be discussing with their peers. This allows the CEO to naturally begin to see you as one of their peers, thus increasing their comfort in sharing information with you.
Earlier in this article, I mentioned that you shouldn’t hesitate to share your peer comments/questions with the gatekeeper as well. The gatekeeper is really an extension of the CEO. When you make relevant comments or pose “peer” questions, you increase the gatekeeper’s comfort level. If the gatekeeper feels comfortable with you, this contributes to the CEO feeling comfortable.
If you have managed to land that all-important meeting with a CEO, don’t delay in your preparation. Invest the effort and time now so you can experience the valuable dividends later.
About the author
Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter, is a consultative selling expert committed to helping individuals and companies identify better prospects, close more sales, and profitably build more long-term customer relationships. He is also author of “High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.”