Decisions today are almost exclusively made at senior levels by senior business leaders. Too often, we don’t have the courage to take on the challenge of discussing business issues with business people.
It’s great dealing with Frank – he always returns my calls.
I worked with Barbara before – I’m confident she can take my message to the executive team.
If I go around James, he is going to be really mad at me.
I don’t know Patricia (the executive). I’m sure she is not going to take my call.
Think about these five points:
- Strategic value is more likely to be appreciated by the executive who owns the strategic initiative you’re seeking to support
- Executives engage at the early part of their organization’s buying cycle. That’s the point at which you can have most influence in shaping requirements for the initiative. Then they disappear until the final stage of the buying cycle.
- The recent economic pressures means that complete layers of middle management have been removed. The levels of influence or decision making power your contacts have almost become binary. As ‘Vinnie’ might say – “Fuggetaboudit – either they’ve got it or they don’t got it.”
- You’re either dealing with someone who’s crafting the strategic framework, or you’ve been relegated to someone who is ‘handling it for me.’
- If you’re to be perceived as a strategic partner for your customer, rather than a vendor, you’ve got to engage strategically with senior business leaders