Gain an Executive's Attention in 15 Seconds20 Dec, 2005 By: Robert Abbott imageSource
Gain an Executive's Attention in 15 Seconds
So you’re like all the other
hungry, assertive salespeople in your industry that want to get to the “C” level
contact. Do you have a precise plan?
When it comes to targeting the executive decision maker, success demands
discipline. But what does discipline look like?
• You have a plan.
• You know the plan works and you have tested repeatedly.
• You have scripted every word. You have carefully crafted a position statement
or value proposition. You NEVER deviate from this script.
• You have a method for engaging the executive decision maker.
• You also have a method for disengaging from them.
• You have a “sound bite” that covers every question that every executive
decision maker asks at blistering speed.
Yes, I know that odious word discipline...it’s just scary. But it can be the key
to mastering any pursuit, including gaining an executive decision maker’s
attention, which might be the greatest challenge you face in your career. It is
considered the Holy Grail in sales efforts.
Ask yourself this question: “If this is so important to my success and economic
well being, then why shouldn’t I invest time and effort to properly prepare?”
Good question! You want some really good advice? Get serious about your efforts
to contact and engage executive decision makers. Put in the time!
Create a script and practice it…every word of it. Do it until you OWN it! Owning
it means you rehearse each word, each turn of the phrase, the order of your
words, every detail, and every nuance. You practice until you internalize the
message. The message becomes a part of you.
When you can be awakened at 3 a.m. from a deep sleep and know your plan without
hesitation and with confidence then YOU are ready to engage your target!
Anything less than this level of dedication and performance and you are messing
around with your opportunities. You may get your 15 seconds with the high-level
executive, but you won’t survive the first two minutes. When you meet with the
• Know your value proposition.
• State it in 15 seconds.
• Make your argument for why you should get more time to discuss your solution.
To get your point across in 15 seconds, you should be able to answer the six
questions below. If you can answer them, you might just find yourself spending
some good face time with that all-important executive.
• Who are you?
• What do you do?
• Why should the executive spend time with you? (Engage)
• What’s in it for the executive?
• How do you disengage?
• What does this process look like?
Laser your points and comments. No stories. Stick to the facts. Remember, your
executive target is busy and time is precious. Get in, get on with it, and get
Make your value proposition engaging and intriguing. Leave them wanting more
information. Make your sound bites pop with interest and energy. Verbs are your
Give them an immediate return on their investment. State that IF they give you
the 15 seconds, two minutes, 10 minutes, you will leave them with at least two
ideas that they can use to immediately reduce expenses related to their business
documents or processes.
Give the executive an ironclad guarantee. Make it compelling, bold, and even
wild. You will gain their attention. You will get your 15 seconds and it will
turn into 15 minutes.
Are you up for the challenge? Your executive decision maker can be an elusive
target, but they can be immensely profitable. Go for it!
Robert Abbott is vice president of business development for DCA Imaging
Systems, a Sharp and Kyocera Mita America dealership based in Lanham, Md. He can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.