Easiest way to make a sale? Start at the top!

Pin It

shutterstock_13061617 (1)If you’ve never been to the Guggenheim Museum in New York City you’re missing an exceptional experience and an incredible lesson in sales.

When you enter this Frank Lloyd Wright designed building, you’ll be immediately amazed by the rotunda exposing the entire museum. Art is everywhere and a giant ramp wraps around six floors of art treasures.

The question is where do you start?
The answer is simple: start at the top.
Same in sales.

I first wrote about this process 21 years ago in 1993. There was no Internet. Your cell phone was in a bag or hard-wired into your car. No email. Life was simple, but getting to the CEO was hard.

I wrote about starting at the top, and gave recommendations about how to contact the CEO’s “secretary” to get the appointment.

I asked the obvious (sales) questions: Why would you walk uphill when you can walk downhill? Why would you start at the bottom when you can start at the top?

Those same questions still apply today.

Isn’t it easier to make a sale when you start with the CEO? And today there are a dozen or more different ways to get to that same CEO than there were 21 years ago.

PICTURE THIS: You walk into a crowded museum (or a crowded sales environment) and you saunter over to an un-crowded elevator. You enter an empty elevator car and push the top floor button. Boom! Easier than you thought – same in sales – AND the CEO’s office is the LEAST crowded office in the building.

THINK ABOUT THIS: If you start on the first floor, at the lowest and easiest point of entry, whoever is in charge has to call upstairs to their daddy on the 2nd floor to find out if they can do business with you.

And depending on the size and deal, the guy on the second floor may have to call his daddy on the third floor. And of course the guy on the third floor may have to call his dad on the fourth floor, and so on up the ladder.

And of course the salesperson has to climb UP the ladder instead of walking down or climbing down the ladder. Complaining all the way.

Or worse, sometimes that salesperson will send me an email saying, “The guy at the bottom won’t let me talk to his boss” and wants to know how to get around him. The easy answer is: never start with him to begin with.

REALITY: Which is more powerful: Having to claw your way up the ladder and beg for permission or beg for the sale? Or having the CEO come down and tell that guy on the first, second, or third floor who he’s going to be doing business with?

That’s the difference between bottom-up and top-down.

GREAT NEWS: Enter social media, the Internet, blogging, YouTube, and a host of other search avenues. And enter your online reputation. All of these elements will determine whether you can earn a meeting at the top, or not.

REAL WORLD SCENARIO: “Hi, My name is Jeffrey Gitomer. I’d like to schedule a brief appointment with the CEO. Would you mind Googling me while I’m on the phone to determine my worthiness, look at my accomplishments, and perhaps check on my reputation. Now the administrative assistant Googles you to see if you deserve the meeting.

In the old days YOU had to convince the admin to get a meeting. Today, the Internet does the convincing for you. Gotta love it – unless you have no social media presence, no Internet presence, no Google presence, no blog, and no reputation to speak of. Salespeople, including you, can no longer BS their way into a C-level meeting. You either earn it, or you burn it.

Pin It

Get Ready for the 4th Quarter During the Dog Days of Summer

Pin It



The dog days of summer are the perfect time to prepare yourself to finish the year strong.

Let Jeffrey tell you how to make customers love you, keep them coming back and tell everyone they know.

• Loyalty. What is it? How do you get it?
• 12.5 Principles of Customer Service
• Forbidden Phrases
• Principle before Policy
• Converting Satisfied to Loyal

These real-world answers about serving customers memorably, keeping them loyal, and creating word-of-mouth advertising will help you build your business, and your bank account.

Get audio clips from the #1 Amazon Best-Seller Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless for just $15 (A $30 Value) through August 18th. Click here.

Pin It

Add Gitomer. Add Brand. Add Income.


Are you are a sales professional, business owner, coach, consultant, or trainer looking to add additional streams of income? Have you ever wanted to deliver Jeffrey Gitomer’s training to your customers or your sales team? As a Gitomer Certified … [Continue reading]

Set the Right Atmosphere When Your Customers Come to Visit | Sales Training

http://youtu.be/cwSRWmDd0SE Customers care about the feeling that they have when they enter your place of business for some kind of meeting. We just hosted a small conference for 15 of our customers. When they walked in the door at a prescribed … [Continue reading]

Are You a Sales Rock Star, or Just a Member of the Band?


When you hear a boss talk about their BEST salesperson, they often refer to him or her as a “rock star.” It’s the highest praise your boss can give someone on your team. Every salesperson aspires to be referred to in that manner, but very few make … [Continue reading]

The Digital Science of Selling


It’s 2014, and Jeffrey Gitomer keeps hearing the same old spiel when he’s out shopping. “The salesperson says, ‘Let me tell you a little about our product,’” says the business trainer and best-selling author. “Dude, I already Googled it. Tell me … [Continue reading]

Is It Satisfied Customers You’re After? NO! It’s Customer Loyalty or Nothing


I’m sick of customer satisfaction. The worst companies in the world tout the fact that they won some satisfaction award. It’s not just a bad joke. It’s a pathetic statement. Every company is hoping that their customers will reorder. They’re hoping … [Continue reading]

Sales Words and Phrases to Avoid at All Costs!


Create a new way to ask for the sale. My friend Mitchell Kearney is the best commercial photographer in this region. When shooting a subject he never says "smile". That's got to be a major obstacle if you're a photographer. He says it makes him more … [Continue reading]