How to Generate C-Suite Leads in Three Easy Steps

There is tremendous value in capturing c-suite leads. Among small businesses, the CEO, president, owner, or co-owner will often make most buying decisions. Among medium and enterprise-level companies, c-level executives will sometimes make important buying decisions, and they’ll often influence other decisions within the organization. So, it’s helpful to know how to capture these leads, or at least how to communicate with this cohort. Here’s how to generate c-suite leads in three simple steps.

Understand How Leaders Think

The first step is to understand how leaders think. Contrary to popular opinion, there are many leadership styles. When you research a c-suite executive, and while you talk to them, you’re going to want to determine their leadership style quickly. Start by buying some leadership books and reading them. This may sound like a waste of time, but it’s highly valuable. Not only will you have a better understanding of the leadership mindset, but you might become a better leader, too. This has tremendous power. If you don’t want to read the books, then at least be familiar with different styles of leadership, so that you know how to communicate more effectively with c-level execs. Here’s a list of leadership styles:

  • Democratic Leadership – make decisions based on team input
  • Autocratic Leadership – make all decisions without input from direct reports
  • Laissez-Faire Leadership – let direct reports make all decisions
  • Strategic Leadership – combine multiple leadership styles in order to adapt or remain competitive
  • Transformational Leadership – push team to do better with every iteration
  • Transactional Leadership – reward teams for the work that they do, or the results they produce
  • Coaching Leadership – nurture individual team members to help them grow in different areas of expertise
  • Bureaucratic Leadership – accept team input but defer to company policy to make decisions

For example, if you determine that a c-suite executive has a democratic style of leadership, then you need to get buy-in from more of their direct reports before you approach them. Build a coalition and it’ll be an easy close. On the other hand, if they have an autocratic style of leadership, then you may want to pump their ego to develop interest.

Get to the Point Quickly

C-suite executives put a lot of value on their time. And, if they don’t know you, then you’ve only got a small window of opportunity to develop interest. So, get to the point quickly. Let them know what you’re offering, and how it can help them quickly. If you get a little interest, they’ll give you more time to tell your story.

Show Value

C-suite executives have different interests than managers and administrators. They often want to know how a product will grow their company by driving sales. So, be prepared to show value in dollars. If your product will make their teams more efficient, then focus on how that time savings will reduce overhead and contribute to their bottom line.

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