The Top 5 Ninja Sales Techniques to Get CEOs on The Phone

October 6, 2017

For a B2B sales professional, getting a CEO on the phone for the purpose of scheduling a sales meeting with them can be very difficult.

Perhaps you have tried repeatedly to get the attention of a CEO only to end up getting transferred to their voicemail, and you never get a return phone call. So what can you do to get their attention?

CEOs tend to be outgoing and friendly professionals who want to know about opportunities that will help them grow their business and give them a competitive advantage. However, CEOs are not willing to sacrifice their limited time to attend a sales meeting with you if they do not see tremendous value. Therefore, you need to be more creative and strategic if you want to get the attention of a busy CEO.

Here are top 5 ninja sales tactic that you can use to get the attention of any business executive.

1. Ask for a referral to get your foot in the door

If you have repeatedly tried to call a CEO only to end up with their voicemail, then you need to change your approach. Sending emails or making random calls to CEOs will only leave you feeling frustrated because you will not get any responses. Rather than thinking about the tactics you can use to a meeting with with the CEO, which is unlikely to happen, you need to look at what the CEO may be willing to give you instead.

CEOs usually have very large networks of business contacts and they are often willing to share a connection that can pass useful information to you. Instead of looking for a call request or talking to a CEO to schedule a sales meeting, ask them if they would be kind enough to give you a referral or contact to help you find the information you are looking for. Approaching a CEO this way will make you look like a student to them and you can use this platform to build a relationship with them. From there, you can use the contact you made with the CEO to reach out to other members of the company that you can present to -- the foot in the door technique. If you establish that you made contact with the CEO, it will make you look much more credible to other organization members such as business executives who have the buying authority to buy the products or services you are selling.

2. Let your assistant call their assistant

If you have an executive assistant in your company, ask them to call the CEO’s assistant so that they can set up a sales meeting with your team. This is a ninja sales tactic that works well because CEOs like to let their executive assistants set up a meeting for them. In case you don’t have an executive assistant, you can simply hire one part-time for this small project using a service like

3. Use your smartphone to write and send emails to the CEO

CEOs are busy people who travel a lot to business events and sales meetings with clients. Therefore, they often read their business emails using their smartphones or tablets. You can use your smartphone to write an email to them and it may help to grab their attention as the email will say sent from your iPhone/Android phone. Make sure you keep your email very short so that you can get a response. CEOs don't have time to read long emails from people they do not know. Keep it short.

4. Call before or after normal business hours

Most CEOs arrive early at work and they are almost always the last person to leave the office in the evening. Therefore, call them before 8 am before the other staff members have arrived, such as their secretary/gate keeper. Also, call after 5 PM when their secretary/gate keeper has left for the day.  Many sales pros say that the most productive time to get CEOs and other top executives on the phone is before 8 am or after 5 pm.

5. Draw on a college connection

Professional salespeople first look for common connections and interests before reaching out to a CEO or C-level executive. This is a top ninja sales tactic, especially if you attended the same college as the CEO you are trying to reach. Rather than using a connection such as an employee who works at the CEO's company, use your college connection with that CEO as this can often be much more effective. Business executives tend to stay connected to their alma maters, and usually, give them preference while talking about business. You can use this tactic to get a meeting with a CEO who attended the same college with you.


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