How to talk to a CEO


You did it. You finally got a 10 minute phone call with the Julie Johnson, CEO of

The call is going well. She seems genuinely interested.

So you keep talking. After all, you have 4 minutes left. You’re on a roll. Surely some additional clarification can only help.

Then you ask for the close. You ask Julie to agree to the deal. She backs out and says she’ll have to call you back. But the call never comes.

You shake your head. She was interested. Where did it go wrong?

You didn’t treat her like a quarterback. Winning quarterbacks, like CEO’s, run the team but they don’t run the ball. Their job is to analyze the situation, call a play and get then safely hand off or pass the ball into the hands of other talented players.

Julie had no desire to ‘run the ball’. She is too busy and has 50 other plays to run. Once the CEO is interested, as quickly and firmly as possible, ask her who else you can work with to execute.

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