Had a cup of coffee the other day with the CIO of a $21B company. We were discussing the barrage of emails he gets each day from software sellers tryin to get a first conversation. We both agreed times have changed. It used to be, an old-school well-crafted VITO letter or email might catch his attention 10 years ago, but not anymore. Moreover, we left the conversation a bit bummed out as there wasn’t an easy answer to this problem. He needs vendors to keep him up to speed on latest technology trends and we vendors need…well…CIOs to buy software.
So what does work? He was kind enough to give me a few nuggets that I’ll share with you:
- Pick up the phone! I almost spit out my coffee when he mentioned he hardly gets phone calls anymore, as I grew up in the 90’s where cold calling was the main way by which you would score a first meeting. He wasn’t saying that he would pick up the phone if you called him, but certainly making a call vs. a “spam” (his nomenclature) would increase your probability for a quick conversation.
- I happened to run into him at a CIO awards event. And, within 5 minutes of saying hello, he introduced me to his boss, the COO. This is an expensive way to say hi, but your field marketing team makes a living at orchestrating these types of impromptu meetings…so take advantage of these events and make the most of them. At a minimum, it gives you the street cred to call in next Monday morning and say, “I met you at the xyz event and wanted to see if you had 20 minutes for a follow up.”
- Bro of a Bro. This was according to this CIO a surefire way to get a meeting. He proclaimed he will almost always take a meeting that comes from someone either he knows, or someone that is friends of someone he knows. LinkedIn has become a powerful tool to make this discovery, and he encouraged me to train my teams on using this tactic to engage.
Getting the 1st bro-chat has become an act of the Living God in today’s selling environment. Follow these 3 tactics, and you’ll grow your pipeline to 4x quota in no time! What’s worked for you?