Surprisingly, a great number of conversations with CXOs fail to conclude with agreement as to what will happen next – concrete, specific, agreed actions for both parties, leaving the CXO confident that the right progress will be made. This is what we mean by closing. It’s not about closing the sale, but constructively advancing the conversation toward doing so, intriguing the CXO, earning their trust and willingness to begin socializing your solution.
How to Close the Meeting When Selling to the C-Suite
Closing begins from your very first contact with the senior executive. For example, you initially gain agreement as to the best agenda for the meeting. You confirm your shared understanding of the issues, decision-making process, prospective solutions, and on steps that should be taken by all parties following the meeting.
Consider that CXOs only deal with big initiatives that have several zeros behind them. Anything less would be delegated to a member of his or her team. And these big initiatives require that a critical mass of key executives and stakeholders agree and will support the decision. In sponsoring any initiative, therefore, the CXO is putting both their organization and their reputation at risk.
If in our discussions we cannot demonstrate our ability to collaboratively build this critical mass of support, gaining closure and setting in motion what is needed, the CXO will rightfully question our ability to manage and deliver the results needed.