CEO Types


How to “sell” to CEOs when in transition.

There are at least 10 types of chief executives.

All of them make good—and in some cases excellent—possible business contacts, and great real networking opportunities.

1. The Professional: The explorer

This is the person who learned on the way up that it is the people and clients—not necessarily the products—that will always make their company successful. Yes, he/she worked hard to get there, but others really made it possible. As a result, the “Professional” will always explore, seek and discover new ways to increase and grow his/her business. Your tri-fold brochures are a way for him/her to immediately see your possible contribution. He/she will always have time to discuss a new idea and a new approach once employed. As others have helped him/her, he/she will also help you to grow and succeed.

The best approach to use with this type of CEO is to be direct. Discuss and demonstrate your accomplishments, and especially your potential. The ACP works particularly well here. This kind of CEO is very aware of the real impact of creative talented people. Your tri-fold brochure and your unique business cards are one of the best ways to demonstrate that directly, but more importantly, your preparation for the interview and your marketing materials illustrate the opportunity that you provide.

2. The Mirage: Now you see them, now you don’t

“I made it, leave me alone.” This person kept his or her nose to the grindstone, and now it is their time to enjoy the fruits of their labor. They usually tell you via directions or actions, “Don’t bother me, and I will not bother you. I got mine; you get yours.”

When working with the “Mirage,” it may be best to concentrate on how you are that unique opportunity that will allow them to continue playing their role at the top. You must demonstrate that you are a self-starter, quick study and need little supervision or attention to be very successful. You also need to explain that your past successes were not a fluke or a thing of the past, but that the “fire” in the belly is still there and intact. The reward of hire far outweighs the hiring authority’s risk of hire.

3. The Wall Street Executive: Money-facing executive

This person smiles and glad-hands the moneyed crowd only, and in many cases, he/she treats his/her subordinates as if they were peons. He/she will take advantage of any situation and turn it to his/her benefit financially. No idea, process or strategy is safe—what’s his is his, and what’s yours is his. However, this type of CEO makes your tri-fold brochure approach very attractive. He/she finds your looking for the hidden opportunity intriguing. What else can he/she learn from you? At least you will get their attention; beyond that you have to sell to his/her money-facing ego.

See: “Reading the Walls”

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10 CEO Types

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