Jill Konrath


Jill's Jottings: Fresh Sales Strategies 

Get More Free Sales Resources

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

[Video] Selling to Executives When You're Scared of Them


I don't know about you, but when I was first told that I needed to call on senior-level executives, I was terrified. What would I talk with them about? They were so far above me -- so much smarter than me about things like finance, overall strategy -- you name it. Yes, you do need to have a different conversation with these people. But, what I'm here to talk about today is the fear of selling to those big wigs.

Years ago, when working with one of my best clients, I was told that I needed to meet with a hotshot young executive. When I heard his name, it struck a bell. I asked, "Is he about 35, with dark hair, good looking? Is he originally from St. Paul? And, did he play hockey?" The answer was yes, yes, and yes.

That's when I knew that I knew this hotshot exec. He was my little brother's best friend growing up. And, he used to run around our house in his jockey shorts. Suddenly, I realized how irrational my fear of selling to executives was. They were normal human beings too -- people like you and me. Sure I had to have a different conversation them, but I didn't have to be scared of them anymore.

Think about it. Is it possible that your fear of these big shots are out of whack too? Remember, you're selling to people -- not a position. And you know how to talk with people!developing relationships with customers

Jill KonrathJill Konrath is an internationally recognized sales strategist. As author of two bestselling books, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, she's a frequent speaker at sales meetings and conferences. For more fresh ideas, download her free Prospecting Toolkit.


This is spot on. It can be challenging to reach the C-suite, then tackling how to talk to them is as dreadful for some. You hit it home, as you do each time.  
I have a few tips for those who are feeling the fear. Take a deep breath and imagine yourself having that wonderful conversation with the senior executive you would like to meet. Remind yourself, "I can do this. We're all people. There is nothing to worry about." Now make that call you've been avoiding.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 16, 2013 3:23 PM by Mary Beth Huffman
Absolutely true and agree - they are also humans, to sell to them you just need different approach and conversation relating to them.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 16, 2013 5:11 PM by Himanshi
We can study their backgrounds to understand them that they are humans too. The more preparation we have, the less fear we got.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 16, 2013 11:09 PM by Kent
Yes, studying their backgrounds will definitely help. What's the best way to do so? Networks?
Posted @ Wednesday, January 16, 2013 11:19 PM by Himanshi
Google Search, Facebook search, etc.
Posted @ Thursday, January 17, 2013 1:17 AM by Kent
Remember the public speaking trick.When you are feeling particularly stressed in front of your audience, imagine them in their underwear... 
...hopefully clean and with no holes. 
Posted @ Friday, January 18, 2013 12:49 PM by Marc Zazeela
So true. Everyone looks the same with their clothes off. 
Posted @ Saturday, August 17, 2013 7:16 AM by marc zazeela
Totally agree with your post specially the point "Remember, you're selling to people -- not a position. And you know how to talk with people!" 
I was also become terrified in this type of situation.
Posted @ Thursday, January 02, 2014 4:02 AM by Executive Selling Training Experts
Haha Jill you just gave a short but marvelous example. Agree with your post that all people are same they can't be different as they are at higher post but you couldn't talk with them as freely or in the way as you are with your friends and office mates...
Posted @ Thursday, February 06, 2014 5:25 AM by Business Sales Training Programs
Hiring salespeople is only the first step. As a sales manager I have to determine what tools and skills each salesperson in my charge needs to be better equipped to sell and close sales than he or she is now.
Posted @ Monday, February 17, 2014 6:03 AM by Sales Negotiation Training
Post Comment
Website (optional)

Allowed tags: <a> link, <b> bold, <i> italics