Have you ever tried to set up a meeting with a senior-level executive to discuss underwriting opportunities? It can be tough to connect with these very busy people. It seems as though they’re never in their office, they rarely answer the phone, and seldom reply to your voicemail or email. What makes it a bigger challenge is that their assistants are very effective at being gatekeepers, protecting them from interruptions.
If you want to connect with executives, it likely won't happen easily. To set up a meeting, you first have to get their attention.
Keep it simple and get to the point. Don't distract or overwhelm with detail.
Beinvaluable. Realize that you are the primary differentiator today.
Zoom in and align. Focus your message on their key business objectives.
Raise priorities. Keep your eye on changes that can affect and increase momentum.
You must convey all of this in a 30-second introduction, voicemail, or brief email message.
Understand that you may need to reach out to busy C-level people 10 to12 times before you get your foot in the door. You also must make the most of each attempt to get a meeting with the C-level executive:
Pay the price of admission.
If you go to Disneyland, you pay more than $100 to get inside. To gain access to the C-level executive requires having knowledge of their business, industry, or marketplace. Mentioning at least one relevant piece of information you know about them each time you reach out to them is important. These bits of information will help you stand out from the competition. Where do you find that information? LinkedIn, Facebook, Hoovers, your search engine, and your prospect's corporate website are great resources for your preliminary research.
Leverage trigger events.
Identify occurrences or events (e.g. new facilities, introduction of a new product or service) that create opportunities for an underwriting campaign. Stay up-to-date on the prospect’s changes and refer to the event when you initiate contact. Google Alerts is one resource for identifying important trigger events.
Talk strategic value.
Executives only get involved with decisions that move the company towards their goals and desired future. Unless you can clearly articulate the business value underwriting provides in these key areas, they won't have time for you. Make sure to address your value in your messages.
As you can see, dealing with senior executives requires lots of preliminary effort and planning. But the pay-off can be huge, which is what makes it so worthwhile.