16 Jun How To Make the Most of a Meeting with a Company Executive
Working with C-level professionals is not as simple as your usual meeting, especially considering their influential personalities, significant budgets and decision-making power. As intimidating as it may sound, remember if you’ve secured an executive meeting with a chief financial officer (CFO) or marketing officer (CMO), it’s because they are interested in your business, product or service. You just need to use that opportunity to tell them what you do is important and beneficial for them.
You and your team may have planned out various engagement strategies to make the most of the upcoming meeting with the C-suite exec, but there are three things to keep in mind to attain maximum success;
- Research: meeting with a C-level executive requires research as this shows your in-depth knowledge and preparedness. Expect them to ask you questions, and you can only make the most out of this C-level communication when you have answers to them. Moreover, when you do research, it boosts your confidence and reduces meeting anxiety and stress.
- Plan: planning an executive meeting before helps you keep track of everything you want to discuss with the c-suite exec. You can align your interaction in order and talk about the most important things first, such as the growth plan, lead engagement strategies, key performance indicators (KPIs), and budget requirements.
- Meet: it’s normal to be overwhelmed by a C-level interaction because it’s about your business, and both parties are meeting to make important decisions. Talk numbers, use data and insights to back your discussion and stay confident. Be goal-oriented and ask for feedback for future improvements.
Below are a few more tips you should include in your engagement strategies when meeting a C-suite executive.
Building a rapport
In business, you’re forced to make strong relationships with your clients and colleagues with an intention to grow together. Take an effort to know the company, its projects, business objectives and most importantly, the role of the C-suite executive you’re meeting. This helps you resonate with its personality and business habits. It always works best for starting a conversation and leading to your presentation or business proposal.
Some of the best ways to earn a strong rapport with C-level execs include
- Ask for their preferred mode of communication; this way, you don’t spam their inbox
- Spark conversation by asking relevant questions about their business, marketing strategies or key metrics
- Take control of the meeting by sticking to the agenda; take up time to discuss the business proposal or growth plan
- Follow up accordingly to remain top of their minds; make sure to send out important documents and information you committed to share
Get to the Point
Once you’ve established a relationship with a company executive, get to the business. Remember, both of you are in a position where you have restricted schedules, so get to the focus point as quickly as you can.
Broadly talk about your agenda or business idea, dissect it, discuss your target audience and explain how it’s important for both parties. Please don’t give away too much information; if something interests you, they will eventually seek more information.
Leave Room for Discussion
Give the C-suite executives space between your presentation to absorb the information you share. Leave room for questions as this may hint you to pivot your discussion in a direction they are more interested in. This also helps you grab their interest and attention while you present your business ideas, marketing plan, engagement strategies or demographic structure.
Meeting with execs is a learning experience, so when they provide feedback or discuss something, it helps you with future improvements.
Back Your Information with Numbers and Data
You won’t be able to grab the attention of the senior-level executives if you don’t include numbers or data in your presentation or discussion. Remember, they are in a position where they only care about numbers and how they can help their business.
Provide them with investable opportunities by discussing lead engagement rate, lead acquisitions, quarterly numbers, communication marketing strategies and plans without overwhelming them by giving away too much information. Align a timeframe with your project; this way, the other top-level manager will know how long it will take to get started with your growth plan or business idea to receive returns.
Use the Conversational Tone
Establish friendly and comfortable peer dynamics to build a strong business relationship. Avoid taking out your laptop and running a presentation; instead, discuss the series of your thoughts. Use the time to engage personally, share your business objectives and discuss how you can use the insights for growth and successful lead acquisition. Moreover, when you engage in a conversation, you tend to speak your mind and be part of the experience, which helps you improve your existing plan.
Be Mindful of the Time
To make the most of an executive meeting, dedicate the time into categories to avoid wasting it on irrelevant things. Always remember that your time is precious, so better to use it for successful lead engagement. Divide your meeting time into the following sections:
- Introduction: this mainly includes briefly introducing the companies, smile exchange, handshakes and other generic meeting formalities. It may also have a common topic you both resonate with, which will help you lead the conversation into the main part.
- Meeting agenda: this section should take the maximum amount of your time. During this time, you should plan to discuss the selling points of your idea. Always spare a few extra minutes to leave room for discussion over important topics.
- Signing off: by the end of the meeting, it is essential to allocate time for you to collect information about the next course of action. This period is best to jot down follow-up information, such as the preferred f communication, point of contact, availability for the next meeting etc.
If you want to learn more effective ways to get to a C-level executive, visit Linked Strategies. Explore our executive insights to know some tactics and tips for successful lead nurturing and acquisition. We have eight years of industry experience where we have helped top companies, including IBM, NASDAQ. MesaLabs, Ocean, and The Pacific Institute earn over $500 million via our proven methodologies and solutions.