How do you speak to a CEO as an equal?

"But I'm a young Graduate, how can I talk to a C-level Director as an equal?"

...I was asked on a training workshop this week.

Good question.

So I put it this way - 'What's the alternative?'

"To put them on a pedestal?"

"Right - and what does that look like?"

"To let them control things, to dominate the conversation?"


"But I'd feel arrogant speaking to a CEO in any other way."

"It would only feel that way at first as you're not used to it - look at it like you're building new confidence muscles.

What feels like arrogance is likely just being more assertive."

"So how do I do it?" he asked.

Try this:

- pause more

- slow down

- admit when you don't know something

- respectfully pick them up on something if you disagree

- lead them in terms of what you need to understand

- teach them one thing they didn't already know about their industry

- direct next steps

Every one of these steps helps build credibility.

The moment we put C-Level Directors on a pedestal is the moment we lose control.

And as it's what most salespeople the opposite.

A CEO is only human - so treat them as such.

They'll find it refreshing and constructive.

Standing your ground in a respectful way will open up countless opportunities.


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