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B2B Sales Calls

The One Thing I Wish I Knew When I Started Making B2B Sales Calls

March 29, 20243 min read

When I first started my business, I was really intimidated by people in power. I’d be invited to speak to family-business owners whose names were on their buildings or CEO’s running multi-billion dollar companies.

Thoughts went through my head like:

  • What if they’ve met with other coaches that are more sophisticated than me?

  • What if I don’t have answers to their questions?

  • What if I look like an idiot compared to them?

  • Who am I to give them advice?

My confidence was so low and imposter syndrome crept in as I headed into every sales call. But you know what? That was all in my head. 

The one thing I wish I knew when I started making B2B sales calls is:

CEO's and other decision makers are regular people, just like you and me.

In over 20 years, every time I’ve mustered up the courage to go to those meetings, it has worked out just fine. You see, business decision makers are people, just like you and me. They have problems. They are looking for solutions. I have solutions and so do you.

In fact, most of the time, they've loved my ideas and they were grateful for my time and insight. I've really come to enjoy getting to know and serving many executives. I've learned so much from them - I hope as much as they have learned from me.

Have I come across a few jerks in my time? Definitely. I once worked with a third generation CEO of a defense contractor. I was invited to administer a series of assessments for him by an executive coach with whom he was working. It was the toughest meeting I've had. He was a real challenger. He felt he couldn't include his executive team in decisions because he didn't trust them to keeps things confidential. He also felt "The Art of War" was an excellent guide for managing his employees. Yep, he was a real doozy.

Knowing this going in, I prepared extensively, so I'd be at the top of my game. Throughout the entire meeting, I just kept thinking, "I don't care if I ever see this person again." Guess what? A few months ago I read in the paper that he had been terminated from the company by his Board of Directors.  

Here's the secret to feeling more confident when you're meeting with executive decision makers:

  • Redefine failure in your mind. FAIL = First Attempt In Learning. Success is hardly possible without failure. If you're not failing, you're probably not pushing yourself to new levels.The more you fail, the more likely you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

  • Do your homework. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be.

  • Define your ideal or best client. Do you really want to work for a decision maker who is intimidating or uncaring about people? Imagine the culture in that organization. Move on and find your dream clients.

  • Have a willingness to try. Confidence doesn't come overnight. Confidence comes because you have the courage to try a little bit more every day. 

So, build up your courage, put your game face on, and knock the ball out of the park at your next meeting with a CEO!

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