When approaching a senior executive, it is important to keep in mind that these executives are busy people. If they have made time for you, they have probably come out of another meeting or are soon going into a meeting that could be substantial.

It is important, therefore, to make your purpose and agenda for the meeting clear at the outset. Depending on your relationship with the senior executive, you may even want to let them know about the agenda prior to the meeting. Whether you have done this in advance or not, you should always begin with a brief and clear introduction of the purpose of the meeting, and how you propose to use the allotted time to address this purpose – the agenda. This enables the executive to quickly clear their minds and work with you to make sure their needs will be met.

How to Propose Your Agenda When Selling to the C-Suite

Care must then also be taken to allow the CXO some control in steering the conversation. Many people make the mistake of being so anxious to talk about their agenda that they fail to allow the CXO any room to talk about the issues they are most concerned about.

So – once you propose the purpose and agenda of the meeting, check in with the CXO: “Is this a good start?”, “Is there anything else?” Do not miss this opportunity to learn more about their interests and concerns and thereby earn the next meeting

When that agenda is agreed, you will be well on your way to not only effectively selling to the C-Suite, but also successfully engaging with them.