How to develop relationships with the 'C' suite

How to develop relationships with the 'C' suite

There is no doubt that forming good relationships is a key part of ensuring workplace success. This does not always feel easy, especially if you don't feel comfortable dealing with the 'C' level in your company.

This is a problem you can overcome, however, and the following tips are aimed at helping you to form more natural and effective relationships.

Read on to find out more.

1. Be informed

Make sure that you have done your homework. Research the company, its leadership and it's past, present and current activities. Make sure you have taken note of information that you have been given by gatekeepers in the run-up to gaining 'C' level access and prepare to talk knowledgeably and coherently about the business you are involved in.

Do not share unnecessary data, however, especially if is your job to interpret it. Focus on solutions rather than detailing the processes involved.

2. Be prepared

Get ready to ask the right questions. Make sure that you know some of the priorities of the 'C' level and prepare smart questions in advance. You want to make sure that the questions you ask demonstrate your intelligence and ability, whilst also being engaging and targeted.

3. Listen

It is easy to become focused on getting your point across, but make sure you make time to listen as well. The ideal is that you spend 30 per cent of your time getting your points across and the rest of the time listening.

4. Prompt a follow-up

Think about building a long-term relationship rather than just focussing on a single meeting. Plant the seeds about what you can offer and come up with a reason for following up.

5. Be succinct

Do not waste the time of the 'C' level. Stick to your agenda, be clear and concise and never take up more time than is required. Do not presume knowledge, however, and add explanations where necessary.

When you do this, make sure you concentrate on core matters and simplify everything to make it as easy as possible for busy executives to grasp quickly.

6. Focus on profitability

Whilst you may be focussed on revenue or growth, remember that the 'C' level will have wider priorities, including expenses. This is why it is always best to focus on overall profitability rather than on specific areas.

7. Create the 'big picture'

Use the effects on people to explain your points and tell your 'story'. This will enable the executives to understand the 'big picture'.