View From Behind As CEO Addresses Meeting In Boardroom

How To Contact C Level Executives


How To Contact C Level Executives?

How to Contact C Level Executives? In other words how to contact the ‘c-suite’. We covered some of this area before but I always wanted to return to it. Getting in contact with a c-level executive and decision makers is the ‘holy grail’ for the B2B sales executive.

However it can feel like a lost cause but there are methods to greatly enhance your probability.

I’ve broken this task down into 4 approaches;

  1. Cold calling
  2. Lumpy mail
  3. Third party approach
  4. Email

Cold Calling







Cold Calling

Let’s start with cold calling. Some say that this is the single least effective way but it’s not, if done correctly. It also has the advantage of a two way conversation, enabling you to get a better insight.

I’ve broken this down into phases A & B;

talking to senior management






(a) Getting past the Gatekeeper

  1. Get a mature person to make the call, as they have a better chance of sounding like an equal
  2. Make sure you have the executive’s name as many companies have a ‘no name’ policy. It sounds obvious but it’s a giveaway to say “can you put me through to the person who looks after…”
  3. Think of the gatekeeper as a help not a hindrance; changing your mind set has a profound effect on how you’re perceive
  4. Use humour to ‘charm’ the gatekeeper and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember to ask for “help” from a woman and “can you do me a favour” from a man. The psychology of this is beyond the scope of this blog.
  5. If you have to leave a message, try to leave just your first name, last name and the telephone number but try to avoid giving the company name unless asked. When giving your telephone number say “I’ll give you my direct line”, almost as a passing remark. All this is to try and sound familiar and not as a cold caller
  6. Calling when Reception Closed – Often a security guard will look up the direct line and give it to you

in conversation







(b) In Conversation

Start off with name of the company and straight into the value proposition and ‘what’s in it for them’. We will return to the detail of this in a later post

lumpy mail







Lumpy Mail

We covered this here Getting a Meeting with the CEO. Try something large like a parcel, rather than a letter which lands straight in the bin.

Third Party Approach

Get someone to refer you to a c-level executive, someone whose name they recognise and therefore will take the call. These sounds almost as impossible as getting a direct call but try this. If you can’t get through ask for sales the next time you call. Everyone gets put through to sales. When put through, ask for the required executive person by name and naturally it’s not them. However, remember most sales people share the same frustration as you do and are often quite prepared to help. There’s an obvious issue here with certain larger organisations but the technique is beyond the scope of this blog.


– Surely not an email! As above asking for a referral in an email to the person you want to talk with, is a hundred times more effective than a direct email. The email needs to be carefully crafted but it can work, albeit, volume is the name of the game here.

Is this list exhaustive? No but it’s a great start on How to Contact C Level Executives and we’ll be returning to the subject again.

Spread the love

David Doyle

David has spent 30 years in sales successfully building business from zero to acquisition. Having studied Electronics and Computer Science at DIT and Enterprise Ireland's Export Sales Development Programme, he has spent most of his time in selling technology. He is founder and Managing Director of B2B Sell and leads a small team of experienced business and technology trained sales professionals.

Leave a Comment

Call Now Button