Value Proposition for a C-Level Executive

After participating in our recent Sales Training Webinar, Engaging the C-Suite Executive, one participant asked me:

I’m a sales manager. What’s the best question or topic my sales team can use to get a C-suite executive to open up?”

He raised a great question. To get the C-Suite executive’s attention — in a word, the topic must be results. To relate this to the C-Suite prospect, you must create a results-oriented value proposition.

The Basic Value Proposition

Let’s start with the basics. Specifically, the value proposition has three parts:

  1. Align your message to your contact, e.g., buyer, IT manager, supervisor, C-suite executive, and so on.
  2. State a “problem” that this person can relate to, e.g. costs, productivity, profits, risk, on-time deliveries, employee hours, customers, etc.
  3. Relate an example of how you were able to help another customer in a similar situation address the problem and be able to quantify the outcome in terms of money, time, or resources.

There is no one sure-fire value proposition, but like all good salespeople, you should be armed with about 4 to 6 good templates, and test which works best for you.

Value Proposition for the C-suite Executive

Here’s an example of a results-oriented value proposition statement–to open up the conversation with a C-suite executive–that demonstrates (in bold) the three steps. This works on a live call, on a voicemail or email message:

Tom, I’m reaching out to you about our work with John Doe, President of ABC Company (a recognized leader in his industry). Last year, ABC saw the economy starting to slow down. They decided they wanted their salespeople to be more proactive at cross-selling multiple product lines, as well as building new sales relationships. So we partnered with them from September to December. In those four months, they documented over $6 million in revenues, which they directly attributed to our work with them. I’d like to follow up with you in a couple of days to explore if what we did with ABC would have some value with the issues you’re facing today…”

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Paul Cherry

For over two decades, sales expert and author PAUL CHERRY has helped B2B sales professionals close more deals in all major industries. As a recognized thought leader in customer engagement strategies, Paul Cherry has been featured in more than 250 publications, including Investor’s Business Daily, Selling Power, Inc., Sales & Marketing Management, The Kiplinger Letter, and Salesforce.

Performance Based Results

Paul Cherry is the president of Performance Based Results. PBR delivers intense, customized sales team training programs and sales management coaching to companies throughout North America. Paul has worked with more than 1,200 organizations, including 175 of the Fortune 500, plus more than a thousand entrepreneurial, small to mid-sized, cutting-edge businesses looking to dominate their niche markets. Clients typically get 7 times their return-on-investment (ROI) or better.

Questions That Sell

Paul Cherry’s top-rated bestseller, Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants (AMACOM) has been listed on BookAuthority’s “100 Best Sales Books of All Time” and has been published in four languages. He is also the author of Questions That Get Results (Wiley) and The Ultimate Sales Pro (HarperCollins Leadership).