Selling to high-level prospects can be an intimidating experience. And if you feel this way, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, research indicates that only 31% of salespeople are capable of effectively communicating with senior executives. Yet, overcoming this obstacle can make a significant difference in both your sales and your subsequent income. Let’s take a look at five critical tips for successfully selling to a c-suite buyer.

Think like an executive.

If you’ve spent any time in sales, you probably already know the importance of putting yourself in the shoes of your prospects. Selling to executives is no different. But if you view yourself as somehow inferior to the individuals you are pitching to, you risk coming across as insecure and desperate, which will stand in the way of closing the deal. Instead, always act as if you belong there. If you view and carry yourself as an expert in sales, your high-level prospects will view you as a peer and a trusted advisor.

Focus on the best fruit.

It’s usually easier to get in front of lower-level buyers, like managers and procurement folks. The problem is, these prospects also tend to have smaller or fixed budgets with which to work. They also tend to view salespeople as vendors to be priced against each other. Not only does this make selling to them a huge time suck, but the results will be less than impressive. With c-suite prospects, on the other hand, once you demonstrate the value in your offer, they’ll pay whatever price you ask. And since they’re already the decision-makers, you’ll close the deal much faster.

Identify top and bottom-line value.

One of the biggest keys to effectively selling to senior executives is understanding what they care about the most. Unlike low-level buyers who want good service and fast delivery, c-suite buyers are interested in things like increasing revenues and boosting profits. So, rather than touting the features and benefits of your product that only appeal to low-level prospects, focus your conversations on how your offer can create value in the areas that matter most to top-level folks.

Get to the point.

People at the executive level are busy. They’ve got a lot on their plate. The last thing they want is a schmoozy salesperson wasting what little precious time they have. We’re not saying don’t be friendly and personable. We’re just saying that when it comes to pitching to senior-level buyers, the quicker you get to the point, the quicker you’ll win them over. Go back to step one and put yourself in their shoes. Ask them specific questions, like: “What do you want to accomplish over the next quarter?” Then get right to the nitty gritty of how you can help them achieve those goals.

Present your solution around bottom-line results.

Again, the c-suite doesn’t care about your low prices or amazing customer support. They only care about top-level/bottom-line results. Once you’ve identified specifically what it is they are looking for, your job is to position your product or service in a way that delivers those results. Think about how your offering will help your executive audience accomplish their goals and then show them. It’s really that simple. And it can be the difference between night and day in terms of your sales results.