How to Interact with CEOs and Other VIPs

By Mo Bunnell

Hi, this is Mo Bunnell, your business development expert and author of "The Snowball System: How to Win More Business and Turn Clients into Raving Fans". Have you ever felt intimidated by working with somebody at a very high level? In this video, I'm gonna talk about how to work with people on boards and that are in the C-suite and things like that.And there's some really simple things you can keep in mind to do a great job in working with very important people. And at the end, I'll tell you just one last, like little personal thing I take great pride in that can be helpful, too.

Here's the big idea. There's been a lot of talk over the last 10 or 15 years about getting to the C-suite, having board level relationships, making sure that we go as high as possible with our relationships as we have with our partners and our clients. And I get it. It totally makes sense in a lot of ways that in a lot of businesses, it's easy to get stuck in the part of the organization that you have day to day contacts with, and see a need for laddering up to one or two or more levels above those relationships, so that you've got a relationship with folks at higher levels and the people that are approving your work. I totally get it.

Where things fall down is the actual interaction. With all that pressure to move upwards, what most people do is they harm themselves by overthinking things. So they will think, "Oh my gosh, well, how do I reach out to the CEO? I barely know her. You know, what am I gonna do? She's super busy. I shouldn't call on a Monday because Mondays are busy and like." Well I've heard so many people harm themselves by overthinking this. So here's the number one thing you need to know. CEOs are people. Board level people are people. Senior vice presidents are people. Whoever you're calling on or whoever you'd like to reach out to, the number one thing you can do is just realize that they're a human being. They're not that much different than the people that you're working with on a day to day basis. They're feeling pressure to deliver something. They're worried about their next annual review whenever that is. They wanna make sure they get their bonus. They've got family issues at home. I mean, it's just really not that different. And if we hesitate before we reach out to somebody that we view as more important than us, then we're going to harm ourselves because we're just stopping before we even start. Just reach out. See them as people.

So the number one little trick that I think is really important that I get really passionate about, that I think more people could do is - If you're worried about how you would interact with a CEO or a board level person or somebody that's a V I P, the number one thing I think you can do to get great at that is treat everybody with respect. Just don't even see titles. Don't even care about them. As you think about interacting with people, treat everybody with respect. Whether it's your Uber X driver or the person cleaning your room in your hotel or your server or anything we can think of. Treat those people with respect and really treat them the exact same way in one-on-one interactions that you would a CEO. Make a joke, have some fun, ask about what they're doing, follow up. It's just really no different. And I think that's the number one thing we can do. Now, one caveat is some people might get confused in our system because in "The Snowball System", in our in person training, we talk about the critical importance of proactively investing in the most important people in your life.

Well, quick nuance here. These are the people at the ends of the bell curve. These are people that can help you the most, but also the people you can help the most. Those are the kind of folks that that should be on your short list. What we call a protemoi list, your first among equals when it comes to interactions. So your your outreach is gonna be a little disproportionate around the people that can help you the most and the people you can help the most. My video here is about your interactions with everyone. Should be similar and the same and with respect and fun and joyful and helpful and all that stuff. It's the people who don't see a big difference between a CEO and the person barely making it and treat them all with respect. Those are the ones that have the most success in all their relationships. Just don't even see title as a thing. See that person as a human being, somebody that you're striving to respect. And that's when you'll do a great job. So I hope you enjoyed this. It's something I'm really passionate about.

And as with all our videos, I hope this one helped you help your clients succeed. Well, that's it for today. Thank you so much for watching. For more content like this, check out my most recent video and be sure to like them so other people can find out about us, but make sure you subscribe.

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