There is no more effective selling tool in a company’s organization than the company’s CEO. However, this tool is not used nearly as often or effectively as it should be. And that is because of the CEO themselves.
CEOs must adopt the regular practice of selflessly serving the rest of the organization. They must realize that their selling megaphone is larger than any other. This is not because they are better than anyone else in the organization. Everyone in the organization is just playing their role to their best ability. It is because the CEO possesses the company’s highest executive title, and the title signals several important distinctions:
- The CEO is the synthesis point for the entire organization. No other role can set the priorities and direction for the entire company as effectively because no other role is tasked with the management of the entire organization. Every other role, such as the head of engineering, is functionally focused.
- Hierarchy is learned from the very beginning of business education. As a result, everyone is trained on the CEO being the most powerful person in the organization. The CEO is the only one that can hire, fire, and promote the executive team, and these responsibilities set the culture and performance for the entire organization.
- If the CEO is also a founder of the business, then they embody the American dream. In the Lucky7 post on the similarity of the DNA of 1776, Steve Jobs, and Israel (see links below for further reading), the point is made that there is an entrepreneur in all of us - and therefore a call to action for all of us to help those brave souls.
It took me awhile to realize the importance of selling as a CEO. At the start of my founder/CEO career, what got me to that initial milestone were the technical skills I had developed, thanks to my mother allowing me to focus on my calling in life from the age of 7. As a result, I felt very comfortable programming. I was in the flow of it. But I hadn’t developed presentation skills. I didn’t know how to sell. However, I was lucky enough to be authentically living my calling, and that is the most effective sales tool of all. It is the most effective because anyone you are trying to sell to will feel your energy, your authenticity. It provides the best foundation in which to build selling skills. And you have to learn selling skills just like any other. Practicing, doing, reflecting, refining. Because developing a new skill is difficult, some CEOs shy away from it and therefore make an excuse for themselves not engaging in selling. These excuses range from: