Makers

Get your seat at the C-Suite’s table

Dianna Geairn gives expert advice on building your network. She'll also show you how to make the dreaded 'cold call' a breeze.

This week, I’m bringing Dianna Geairn front and center.  You might know Dianna as the Irreverent Sales Girl or from the SellOut Show, which she co-hosts. She’s a sales guru, accidental entrepreneur, and brilliant contributor to SalesforceSucceed As Your Own Boss, and Onward Magazine.

Have you ever heard of The C-Suite? If you haven’t, the “C-Suite” is jargon for any job title with C in front of the name, such as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), and so on.

With business to business complex sales, you’re going to have to sell to people in the C-Suite. And if you can’t talk the language of their business, you’re not going to sit at the table. Dianna weighed in with her very best tips for getting the attention of the C-Suite at any company.

Dianna

First, you’ll have to network with people you don’t know

“What I found was that each of us has an innate desire to make a difference with people. As humans, we have a desire to connect with people. And the way to build a network is to give.”

“First, send a message like ‘I read your article, I’d like to connect with you.’ And if you connect with someone super cool, ask them for 5 minutes on the phone or to grab coffee. And then, afterwards, you send them a handwritten Thank You note. You’ll build an amazing network because you know, nobody does that!”

Corner Headshot
“The way to build a network is to give.” -Dianna Geairn. Photo courtesy of Dianna Geairn.

“Here’s how I connect with people, and it’s very simple. I follow the 3, 3 and 3 rule. You spend 3 minutes researching, 3 minutes deciding what to say to them, and 3 minutes deciding if they’d be interested or not. All you have to do is take a look around. People will tell you what they’re interested in. Find something you’re interested in and take a shot.”

You might even have to make some cold calls

“We don’t like to be cold called because we don’t feel successful on the call. If somebody calls you up and is asking for 3 minutes of your time, you’re already in the middle of something else.”

“So say I make a cold call to Joey. The first thing I do to make Joey feel successful is say his name. When he picks up the phone, I’m like ‘Hey Joey.’ He’s been successful once now because I said his name. The second thing I do is identify myself by saying, ‘This is Dianna, we haven’t met yet’, which answers his question of who is this person? Then, the third thing I like to say is why I’m calling, like ‘I’m calling you BECAUSE…””

Dianna
Dianna Geairn video calls a University of Nevada entrepreneurship class to teach students how to make cold calls. Photo courtesy Alice Heiman.

“And when you say why you’re calling, identify yourself. For example, students should use the student card. Say ‘I’m a student studying entrepreneurship, and you’re obviously very successful at that. I was wondering if we could talk for 10 minutes, and if you have time now?'”

“They’re going to say yes or no. They’ll say yes to that, by the way. But if for some reason, they say no, you’re going to say thank you. How do you overcome the objection of hearing they’re not interested? Find someone who is. If they’re not interested, say thank you, goodbye, and hang up the phone.”

But most of all, you’ll need to trust your path

“I’m hesitant to answer what age I was when I cofounded my first company. I think a lot of us have a tendency to compare ourselves to anyone where there’s a time or a place. And most people look on the outside like they’re more successful than they’ve actually been.”

Dianna Geairn Headshot
“How do you overcome the objection of hearing they’re not interested? Find someone who is.” -Dianna Geairn. Photo courtesy of Dianna Geairn.

“A lot of people will tell you that there’s a particular path to take to get where you want to go. I want to tell you to ignore that. Ignore what people think your path should look like. Someone will tell you that your idea is stupid until the day people love it. And then they’ll be like ‘Oh I always knew that would work!’


A huge thank you to Dianna Geairn for the inspiration for this week’s blog post! For more on Dianna, check her out on LinkedIn & Twitter, subscribe to the SellOut Show, or read more insights on the Irrelevant Sales Girl Website.

What’s your best advice for earning a seat at the table? Leave a reply to let me know 🙂

Until next time, Saludos Caminantes!

4 comments on “Get your seat at the C-Suite’s table

  1. What a great summary of Dianna’s talk with our class. Thank you so much for publishing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so incredibly honored.

    Did you tape-record it? It’s like you heard every single thing I said.

    You go, Lexi! You have a talent for making people feel important – and that will be an excellent path for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Dianna!! Luckily, in elementary school, my teachers used to put a towel over student’s keyboard so we couldn’t look down at the keys and then time us for words per minute. I was a very competitive speed-typer!!

      I loved writing about you and hope to do a follow up blog post soon!

      Like

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