Selling at “C” Level

by Dr. Bob DeGroot

For many of you, selling at the CEO, COO, CLO, CFO etc. level means that you’re talking with someone engaged in leading the company through implementation of the company’s Vision. A vision is a picture of what the company is trying to create.

Achieving the Vision is often done through “Strategic Initiatives.” Some of these initiatives are incremental and some are huge. Either way, these initiatives get the funding. If what you’re selling can be aligned with a Strategic Initiative, then the “C” level person you’re interacting with can move money from one budget to another within their span of control to acquire your products and services.

The moment you start interacting at the “executive” level (VP, EVP, “C” Level, Director and other Sr. Executives) you should automatically shift to helping them carry out the Strategic Initiatives that fall within their areas of responsibility.

Remember, the Final Authority is the person at the “appropriate level” in the organization who is responsible for all the budgets that you impact. The “appropriate level” may or may not be the person at the top (C Level). If it is, then in addition to positing what you sell in alignment with achieving the Strategic Initiatives, you must also be able to talk about Return On Investment (ROI), Rate Of Return (ROR) and / or Return On Assets (ROA).  

Bob DeGroot, D.C.H.


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