Recently, one of you mentioned that the time it took from when you first started talking to a CEO about the 7 Stages of Growth and the actual ‘sale’ of the X-Ray took way too long. You wanted to find out what you could do to shorten that sales cycle.
My short answer is this:
Engage them quicker in a discussion that uncovers their ‘pain’ and show them sooner how the X-Ray process (or the Profit Zone process) will address that pain.
One of my videos tells you what that pain looks like. I provide these weekly emails to let you know what resources are available to help you position the 7 Stages of Growth to CEOs. That same video explains how much you already know about solutions to their pain. That video can be found under the X-Ray Video Tab and it’s called “How to Position an X-Ray to a Prospect”.
Getting the ear of a CEO isn’t easy. Like so many of you, I hate to ‘sell’. I try hard to establish rapport, to quickly understand and empathize with what that CEO is experiencing as he/she tries to run their business. I ask curiosity questions. I have them tell me what they have done in the past to solve some of their issues and how successful those attempts have been.
Once I know what stage of growth they are in, I talk about the things I know about that stage of growth and see if they are experiencing those same issues. Because I’ve run a company, I can share my own stories about what I struggled with when I was in that stage of growth. You may be able to share your own stories or share examples of what you’ve seen in other situations.
The main lesson here is I’M NOT SELLING. I’m solving. I’m showing them that I can help them solve their challenges.
I also work very hard to figure out WHO THEY ARE. Meaning, are they focused on our conversation or are they distracted, taking calls or not making good eye contact.
When I ask how they feel about their employees, do I hear complaints, do they run people down, or do they indicate there are bigger issues their team is struggling with? In other words, am I talking to an emotionally intelligent leader? Am I talking to someone who genuinely cares about their staff and wants to make their jobs easier? Am I talking to someone who recognizes their own weaknesses and is looking to become a better leader?
Working with someone who sees only problems, not solutions and is worried about spending money, and constantly complains about their staff, may not be a good fit for you.
If you haven’t listened to my video “How to Position an X-Ray to a Prospect” you’ll find it under the X-Ray Video Tab. It’s an hour in length. There is a lot of critical information in this video.
My suggestion is to listen to this prior to engaging a CEO in a conversation. I make the point that you KNOW A LOT about what that CEO is going through. You need to position yourself as an expert in helping them with alignment, engagement and implementation. These are the three outcomes that an X-Ray or a Profit Zone delivers.
Stop worrying about selling the X-Ray or the Profit Zone programs. I suggest you just get more confident about the real value you bring to the table by using the 7 Stages of Growth to solve those challenges that keep CEOs up at night. That’s how you close the sale.
Your success. My passion.
Laurie Taylor, FlashPoint!