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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?"


"Correct."


"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 do...do 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.


Agree?



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