In Decision Makers, Selling to executives
Stuart Draper, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, CEO

Stuart Draper is the CEO of Stukent

Want to learn more about how to get into talking to more executives and decision-makers?

This is another great episode where we invite entrepreneur and executive, Stu Draper. Stu is an entrepreneur at heart. He started getfoundfirst.com in 2008 and stukent.com in 2013. In over a year and a half, they went from helping one university to helping 225 universities. They have an astounding rate of 25 new universities a month with 40% close rate. Their company works to help teach internet marketing by providing a digital textbook each semester. They also take pride in the world’s first internet marketing simulation.

Stu is the perfect person for this episode because he shares advice on how we can better position ourselves to get connected with busy executives. It’s about being very strategic on how you approach an individual. It’s about taking time to build a relationship.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Stu:

What makes a great sales approach or sales pitch:

A great pitch depends on the:

  • Right moment
  • Right approach
  • Right product.

Calling a client at a bad time:

  • Acknowledge right away for calling out of the blue.
  • Help your client feel that you understand where they’re coming from.
  • Tell them you’re willing to set up a better time.
  • Tell them the reason for interruption is that you have something of value that is worth it!
  • Point out the pain of the client and how you can resolve it in a clear, concise way.

Should you ask the client if it’s a good time to call?

  • End it with “I know you’re busy right now…” (Don’t ask if they’re busy or if it’s a good time.)
  • Set up a time when you can talk more.

The importance of coming prepared for every call:

Take time to know things about and better understand your client.

First call should be:

  • Clear
  • Concise
  • About their pain and how you solve it
  • About when you can talk next

How to best approach that, “I’m not friends with you” on LinkedIn:

  • Connect with the person on a higher level than just “add me to your professional network on LinkedIn.”
  • Don’t be “spammy.” It’s about relationship-building.

Example:  “I heard you speak at this conference. It touched me and changed the way I think. Thanks! I’d like to connect with you.”

On leaving voice mails:

Short and concise

On sending emails:

  • Short and concise
  • Spark their interest.
  • Do something different that they don’t read in every other sales email.
  • Make yourself stand out.
  • You have to have a product that’s going to make a difference and make it worth their time.

Strategies to grab their attention:

  • Interesting subject line
  • Thought-provoking question to solicit pain

Putting creativity in your approach:

  • Creativity gets you in the door.
  • The product matters and how you show it matters.
  • Creative approaches: Videos, Webinars
  • Being creative in your pricing model and promotion

What is pricing to an executive?

  • Pricing is secondary. Value comes first.

Stu’s main challenges with sales:

  • Getting them to take time to use the CRM correctly
  • Follow ups

Current projects Stu is working on:

  • Expanding their courseware
  • Recently launched five social media case studies
  • Connect with Stu on Twitter @stu_draper and LinkedIn (He’d be happy to connect with you on LinkedIn, just give him a good reason!)

Stu’s Major Takeaway:

“Creativity will get you in the door, but product and pricing will help you close the deal.”

Executives appreciate when you bug them a little bit. CEO’s are busy people and they juggle so many balls in the air at the same time. It’s not that they’re ignoring you, they just don’t have the time. When they do have time, they’re waiting for you to connect with them. When they can, they’re going to respond and take time for you.

 

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