“How Dare You Reach Out to a CEO?”

If you’ve ever been in sales where part of your job is “bringing in new business” (as you’ll see any job description tell you), then the headline of this blog is something you’ve either told yourself or heard from others in some form or another. CEO, Board Member, Executive – you name it. The larger the company, the more taboo it is to try and dig up the CEOs contact information. The reasons vary; CEOs don’t have time for this, their information is impossible to find, they have people checking and filtering their emails and so on. Well… I’m here to tell you this is simply not the case. To show you why, let me break down the three reasons above with a specific example for each based on my own experience.


CEOs Don’t Have Time For You

Though an understandable point of view, don’t you find this a bit counter intuitive? Certainly, if you’re selling encyclopedias to anyone willing to listen, this falls true, but in that case Becama’s blog is not for you. However, if you do your homework and find prospects where you are convinced you can provide value to their business, why wouldn’t a CEO have time for you? Whether the CEO started the company or not, isn’t the whole reason someone occupies the position of Chief Executive Officer that they’re considered the most equipped to lead their respective company to prosperity?

While doing work for a client, I once reached out to the CEO of one of Northern Europe’s largest banks. I did my usual research, found and verified the email address and started sending emails. I knew I had value to provide and saw from day one my emails were opened (let me know if you want more information on email tracking). A couple of follow-ups later I heard back from one of the top-executives. She had received my details from the CEO and they were interested in learning more.

In short, if you provide value, even CEOs of large companies have time for you. That’s what they are there for. Whether you hear back from them directly or not, they will at least consider what you are proposing, if you do so correctly.


Their Information is Impossible to Find

Yes and no. Their information is certainly not impossible to find, though if you want to target someone like Tim Cook or any other CEOs of global companies who are seen a lot in the media, you’d probably struggle to find the correct email address. Otherwise, executives and managers are just as, if not even more dependent on their emails as you are, which means they need to have an address which people recognize and are able to use. Sometimes you can get lucky with these free CEO email websites, but more often than not you won’t. However, there are certain hacks which can be used to figure all of these things out, which Becama offers, so get in touch if you’d like the latest on how to find the people you are looking for (sorry, had to insert a little plug for our prospecting guide here).

When digging around for direct sellers, I decided to try and reach out to one of the largest multi-level marketing companies in the world. One of those where they play around with both the left and the right side of the @ in their email format. However, after doing some research it turns out, though a different format than most others, the CEOs actual email address was as normal as can be, provided you find the right email domain, for which a website didn’t exist. It might require some work, but it’s not impossible!


CEOs Have A Team Filtering Out Irrelevant Emails

This one is just about never the case. Large companies like Barclays will have a “CEO’s Office” where there is someone in charge of filtering some emails, but the accounts they monitor is not the CEO’s “direct line” if you will. They are looking for any relevant emails which may have been sent to one of the distractions. If you are good enough to dig out the direct line, you can reach just about anyone.

Another important point here is that the individual who is filtering the incoming emails will be trained to quickly dispose of irrelevant ones, but is still obligated to actually look at any personal looking emails in order to determine their relevancy. This means, if you can optimize your email and personalise to a point where it catches their interest, then you may be able to get them to report your email directly to the CEO as one of the relevant ones. Lastly, this requires you to follow up more than once, I can assure you! Have a look at my post which explains why you need to make sure you’re not coming off as someone trying to sell for a bit of extra juice on this topic.

As en example here, I actually did reach out to Jes Staley many moons ago, now CEO of Barclays. After 3-4 follow-ups I got in touch with his office and things became interesting from there. Goes to show with the right email templates and optimization, your reach is endless.

In Summary

I hope by now you’ve realised I used CEOs as an extreme. These points are applicable to several levels of management, anything from directors and department heads, to mid-level managers; both in the public and private sector.

Never be afraid or think they don’t have time for you. Managers are managers for a reason, they (usually) are good at what they do. Which means, if you are genuine about providing them with value, they will listen.

Until next time! Please leave any questions or comments in the section below and I’ll do my best to answer.

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