I attended the “Winning Big Company Clients” event in NYC earlier this week. The event was hosted by Nigel Edelshain, CEO of Sales 2.0 with a panel discussion led by Jill Konrath, author of “Selling to Big Companies” and Razi Imam, CEO of Landslide Technologies.
Jill’s discussion was very interesting. While she admitted that much of what she wanted to talk about was in her book, it was beneficial to get the synopsis.
Her main point is that the corporate decision makers use the delete key first. When listening to your voice mail, their finger is on the *3 or whatever key combination they use to delete your voice mail and email. Their preference is to delete, not listen. So if you are not relevant, your message is deleted immediately.
That means that you don’t have 30 or even 10 seconds to get your point across. You have 5 seconds to be relevant. Her studies have shown that corporate decision makers also believe that it’s your responsibility as the sales rep to call them back. Jill says that you’re their conscience.
Being relevant means you can’t be consultative. No more, “Hi, this is Jill and I’d like to understand more about your business issues so that we can find a solution for you.” Corporate decision makers don’t have the time or desire to educate you. Jill says that you must be assumptive in your belief that they have a pressing problem and that you can solve it.
Jill says that the corporate decision makers will review 3 things in their head as their finger is poised over the delete key.
- Are you relevant?
- Is this an urgent problem?
- Are you credible, ie are you the one to solve this problem?
I found what she said very timely and very interesting. Thanks, Jill for your insight. And thanks to Nigel for hosting!