Must-Have Tips for Selling to the C-Suite


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All Customer Experience professionals are in sales. Even if you never sell a good or service to a single Customer, you are still in sales. And to whom are you selling? Your team, your distribution network, your suppliers, and most importantly, your CEO.

Customer Think published a great article on the topic of selling your CEO and the other members of the C-Suite. They suggested selling the C-suite requires reminding them of how when Customers are loyal and spend more, they add value to the stock. (They even quoted some WISE Customer Experience experts on the topic). They also describe how engaging them emotionally by showing them real Customer stories supports this data, and to use a crisis moment to your advantage with a great example of Sprint’s efforts in Customer Experience.

I would add a few more, including the following:

Tip #1:

Frame your CX program benefits in terms that matter to your C-Suite.

There is a foundational concept for convincing someone to do what you want them to do when selling something: match their needs to your product benefits. For your Customer Experience program, this means a particular focus on how your plan will add to the stock price value or bottom line ($$$$) returns. When we do this for our clients, we use a process called the Emotional Signature® that tell the C-Suite how much money they will make from undertaking a Customer Experience Program. 

Tip #2:

Get more time for Customers on the agenda.

Many times Customers have simply been pushed out of the C-Suite’s awareness. They have drifted away from Customers as the focus and replaced them with stockholders and other stakeholders. One of the biggest things you can do to keep the C-Suite aware of what is happening in the Customer Experience part of the business is to get it on the meeting agenda—and not at the end of the meeting when everyone is secretly checking email under the table on their phones! When you share feedback or success stories as part of the agenda, it puts the Customer back on the C-Suite’s mental agenda, which is never a bad strategy for your goals.

Tip #3:

Have research to support your agenda.

It takes more than a heart-warming tale of saving the holidays with over-the-top Customer Service to win over your senior management. Using research from other successful case studies and your Customer research will show the facts and figures that add credence to your heartwarming holiday story recap. Emotional engagement is great; emotional engagement with the facts to back it up is even better.

Now, I realize not all of you Customer Experience professionals have experience in sales. Some of you might never have officially sold anything in your life. However, when you have a Customer Experience agenda that requires a different use of resources to the CEO or anyone else in the C-suite, then a little sales strategy will certainly boost your efforts.

What tips would you add to the list? We’d all love to hear your thoughts on how to get your agenda approved in the comments below.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colin Shaw
Colin is an original pioneer of Customer Experience. LinkedIn has recognized Colin as one of the ‘World's Top 150 Business Influencers’ Colin is an official LinkedIn "Top Voice", with over 280,000 followers & 80,000 subscribed to his newsletter 'Why Customers Buy'. Colin's consulting company Beyond Philosophy, was recognized by the Financial Times as ‘one of the leading consultancies’. Colin is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast, which is rated in the top 2% of podcasts.


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