At evoJets we interact with a lot of executive assistants and have some in our rolodex that go back over a decade.
These professional Swiss Army knives are some of our most valued clients, with their organization and attention to detail making the sales process smoother for all.
Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with Executive Assistants that will help you win and retain their business:
1. Give the Assistant Some Assistance
A few years ago I had a client that booked a lot of business with me in a three-month span or so. He was an assistant to a noteworthy tech CEO. One day the EA mentioned he needed to gather updated paperwork on the CEO's dog, since their next flight was international and they had to provide some documentation in order to schedule.
Without hesitating, I offered to call the vet myself and take care of that mundane task for him. He was blown away. Simply by removing a 10-minute headache from his plate, I became an immediate asset and showed that I wasn't purely interested in getting the contracts signed.
Three months later the CEO bought his own plane (a big one) and I haven't heard from the EA since, but I won his business and two referrals in the meantime!
2. Streamline the Process
Take a step back from your overall sales cycle and look for ways you can field, service and close the business more efficiently--both for you and your clients.
There is nothing your EA customers will appreciate more than a smooth, reliable and predictable process when exploring your product or service. If they can't depend on you and your process, they'll depend on someone else--guaranteed.
If you had 10 minutes to solve a problem and two different solutions available that offer the same service, what would you do? Probably go for the one that gets the job done in the fastest, most reliable way, right?
Do you have a dedicated sales contact, web portal or phone number for your EA clients to call? Any of those avenues are likely to win the business and prevent attrition over a generic 800-number or similarly impersonal, lengthy inbound sales process.
3. Offer Solutions, not Problems
This general concept is neither groundbreaking nor original, but it's especially important when dealing with busy executive assistants.
EA's are constantly being pulled in different directions, asked to handle anything from event-planning complex events to generating financial reports and everything in between. The average day for these super-humans usually consists of solving problem after problem--don't create more for them!
Did your EA contact you about a particular item or offering that is no longer available? Don't say, 'Sorry, we're all out'. Instead tell them, 'We don't carry that item any longer but here is a newer, upgraded version that addresses the same need.' Try to respond to the initial inquiry with an immediate solution or recommendation, not a further delay or open-ended reply.
Be a source of solutions at all times and your EA clients will respect you--and your business--as a valued resource.