Anxiety is the uneasy feeling that arises within you when thinking about approaching a senior level executive, doctor, high government official, etc. It surfaces because you are anticipating an unpleasant outcome or projecting a negative experience. So in essence, it’s your own imagination that creates executive intimidation.

This negative projection also turns you into your own biggest gatekeeper. Because of this discomfort, you’ll tend to avoid the interaction by rationalizing why you don’t need to get to these high level people. That is you’ll look for evidence on why they don’t want to see you, such as, they are too busy or they only want to meet managers at their own level, and this creates your own self imposed roadblocks.

The antidote to anxiety is preparation and positive projection. Think about it. You really don’t know what’s going to happen so why think that it’s going to be stressful or negative. Rather think about a positive outcome. For example, think that sooner or later this leader has to get the information to make his or her decision, so it should come from you. Tell yourself you are capable enough and smart enough to go face to face with a corporate exec, high government official, doctor, etc. Executives are law-abiding, normal, working people – no different than you. So visualize the experience as enlightening and productive.

Preparation is your best weapon. Preparation will help you feel more comfortable and confident. Practice what questions you’ll ask. Brainstorm by yourself or with others what you want to learn and what keywords you’ll be listening for. Role-play your questions and how you’ll introduce concepts, and make suggestions. Use your Golden Network for information about the person’s style. They will give you some facts and impressions so you can start imagining the person as a regular Joe or Jane.

Common Situation

Powerful People Make You Uncomfortable

You’re uncomfortable with the thought of trying to meet with the higher-ups in your client’s or prospect’s organizations. As a doer or sales person, you’re content to meet and work with the functional or lower level people. You rationalize that addressing the specs with a great proposal or low price is all that’s required to win.

Resulting Problem

You’re at the Mercy of Subordinates Who Stall, Price Gouge, and Can’t Give Final Approval

Lower-level people push for everything they feel is important (in their minds) and push for other things they just want. Yet, they are not the ultimate decision-makers. Subordinates are more uncomfortable than you with their bosses. So they also avoid them, and basically assume to know what the bosses want. Consequently, their perceptions of what’s critical to their bosses are usually incomplete, biased or wrong. If you avoid the leaders because of your intimidation, you’ll only get the subordinates’ interpretations, and you won’t know what’s really going on. Therefore, you won’t know what message to present that will really win over the leaders.

Check Yourself

Score: 4=Always; 3=Most Times; 2=Usually; 1=Sometimes; 0=Never.

1. Do you consciously try to meet people at higher levels by asking for introductions? ____

2. When you see an opportunity to interview a higher-level person, do you jump on it? ____

3. Do you feel the executives are not interested in what you sell? ____

4. Do you feel it’s critical to meet the top people? ____

Scoring: ( 1 + 2 + 4 ) – ( 3) = ??
( ___ + ___ + ___ + ___) – ( ___) = ___

8 is good;

Less than 8 means go to this > Selling Problems & Solutions link for information about an 8-10 pages E-book with tips, suggestions and actions dedicated to handling this particular selling problem. You’ll also find a FREE E-book "Getting Past Gatekeepers and Handling Blocker" that will help you get to the key decision makers

Author's Bio: 

Sam Manfer is an expert sales strategist, entertaining key note speaker and author of TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER$, The Complete Guide to C-Level Selling - getting to and influencing top level decision-makers. Sam makes it easy for any sales person to generate quality leads, and become a 70% closer. Sign-Up for Sam’s FREE E-Books, Articles and other Advanced Sales Training Tips at .