Recently, I set up a discovery call for my client with several C-level executives. I originally was in touch with the CTO, and I found him to be extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and down to earth (not something I have learned to expect). After going back and forth for several days working out the kinks in an NDA, we were finally ready to schedule a discovery call .. or so I thought. Up until this point, I had communicated with the CTO directly, when suddenly…

His admin came into the picture.

Little did I know that the day-to-day life of these C-levels are often controlled down to the minute by their admins. Below is an actual quote from one of these high-powered executives:

Me: Alright sounds good! Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon is preferable for (my rep) next week.

C-level Exec: Haha that’s on my admin, Scott. If I touch my calendar he eats my leg.

(Oh .. eats your leg huh? Okay. How to respond. Hmm. Erm … well …)

Me: Oh my! We can’t have that now, can we? I’ll reach out to Scott and see what he says.

In my quest for leads, much like Dorothy’s quest to meet the Wizard, I overcome many obstacles to get (home) qualified, sales-ready leads for my client. One of the biggest hurdles is generally convincing admins that my cause is worthy enough to take up valuable real estate on a C-level’s calendar. Even with the C-level Dude’s blessing, I still needed to answer his admin’s obligatory 20 questions…but by coming into the conversation in an easy-going, relaxed manner, I kept it stress-free and gained valuable insight into the inner workings of the company.

My reward? A coveted hour-long meeting set for the following week, with two additional C-levels on the invite.

Bottom line, sometimes in Sales Development land, we can get hung up on the smallest hindrances (i.e.: admins protectively guarding a C-level’s calendar, channeling their inner flying monkey). How do we overcome them? We can choose to see these “obstacles” as a chance to uncover bonus information that could be the answer to revealing the heart/brain/courage/leads we were looking for all along.

This blog was originally published on October 22nd, 2013.

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