Risk & Business Magazine General Insurance Services Magazine | Page 20


Building A Relationship With A CEO ?

Woo The Inner Circle First

When building partnerships with other businesses , most entrepreneurs naturally target the C-suite leaders first . That ' s understandable : CEOs , after all , are the decision-makers , so naturally you and every other entrepreneur is going to clamor for a meeting with the top brass .

However , the problems you want to solve are not likely to be the same ones keeping those executives up at night . What ' s more , your constant calls and follow-up emails are actually a turnoff for CEOs . And your messages will probably just get buried in the 84 , on average , other emails , that CEOs typically receive in a day . Getting the face time you need to close a deal is a challenge , all right .
This is why you should rethink identifying the “ right people ” to contact . Every business leader maintains a core staff that manages his or her schedule , advises on business decisions , coordinates events and acts as this leader ' s gatekeepers . For this reason , your only shot at landing a meeting with the CEO is to find an internal advocate who can prioritize the proposal and educate the boss about its value .
Your best strategy , then , is to develop a relationship with the company head ’ s assistant or a well-placed manager , to dramatically boost your chance of making a deal . And the best way to do that is to give thoughtful corporate gifts .
Gifts are a great way to connect with staff members who work hard for little recognition . Depending on the organization , you might find the best allies in division heads or assistants , event planners or junior team members looking for ways to get noticed . Showing appreciation and respect for their time helps earn their trust and assistance .