TLC Unfiltered: With Global CISO Helen Rabe
How, and how not, to sell to the C-suite
We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Global CISO, Helen Rabe, on our most recent TLC Unfiltered podcast episode. The episode looked at a day in the life of a C-suite inbox, particularly the ceaseless deluge of marketing and sales emails that find their way into the inboxes of executive decision makers.
You can watch the full episode here, but we’ve picked out some quick dos and don’ts straight from the CISO’s mouth.
1. Don’t try and connect outside of work hours. Nobody wants to log on in the morning and be met immediately with a sales pitch and they especially don’t want to be bothered while at home.
2. Don’t send endless automated email chains until you get a response. If you don’t get a response, don’t double down with increased tenacity.
3. Remember that the person you are emailing isn’t simply a target to hit. They are a person behind the metric and treating them as such will go a long way to kickstarting a relationship.
4. At the same time, don’t get too familiar. LinkedIn may be a platform for professionals, but it is still a personal platform. Think carefully about the relationship you have with the person you are contacting before trying to reach out over social media, or God forbid, WhatsApp.
5. Don’t book meetings without speaking to them first. This type of presumptive chancing might work 1/100 times, but for the most part it’s just going to infuriate people.
6. Try to understand the customer’s needs before approaching them. If a salesperson can come in with an understanding of how the customer might meaningfully benefit from their product, it will engender trust as opposed to simply trying to push something they might not need
7. Be careful with gimmicks. They can be attention grabbing but can just as easily rub people up the wrong way. Saying that you’ll plant 5 trees if they get in touch will thrill some but may come across as very transactional for others.
8. Get to know the potential customer and do your research before reaching out. Broad strokes sales campaigns with cookie cutter emails will do nothing to build relationships.
9. Don’t go over people’s heads if you don’t get the response you want. Their boss has placed trust in them and will respect their decision. Going over the top of them will do nothing but earn your business a one-way ticket to the vendor blacklist.
A lot of these might seem like no-brainers, but these are sadly all examples of the marketing and sales faux pas that the C-suite encounter every day. Helen shares the best, the worst and the funniest encounters she's had - so this episode is well worth a listen!
So what next?
Getting to know your customers and building trust and friendships before you sell is key to success. The Technology Leaders Club virtual roundtables, private dinners and experiential activities programme offer vendors a platform to achieve just this.
By hosting 6 of your prospective customers in a private, closed-door roundtable setting offers genuine opportunities to get insight into their pain points, establish a trusted friendship, and open up doors to new business opportunities.
Download the brochure or book a discovery call today to find out more.