The common perception among salespeople about executive assistants is that they handle C-level professionals’ calendars and block others’ access to them. End of job description.
Maybe that was the case 20 or 30 years ago. But in 2016, executive assistants are extraordinarily competent in a plethora of areas, and their duties extend far beyond administrative tasks. Beyond keeping their boss’ calendars, EAs also represent their managers at internal and external meetings and sometimes even make decisions on their behalf.
Because of this, I think of the executive assistant as the CEO by proxy. Instead of trying to bypass the EA, work with them to get the information you need and indirectly engage the CEO. Sometimes interacting with and posing your ask to the EA is more beneficial
Then accessing the CEO
For example, if I was building an ROI calculator to strengthen a presentation and needed data from the CEO to complete it, getting it from the EA is just as good — and much faster. When it comes to any other ask besides signing the contract, I don’t distinguish between the CEO and their EA due to how closely they work together.
It’s also a good idea to call the EA and pick their brain Wuhan Mobile Phone Number before you reach out to the CEO — after all, they know more than anyone else what works with their boss and what doesn’t. However, EAs are busy people too, and they won’t just give you the information you want simply because
You Asked For It
Keeping in mind that EAs get countless calls from salespeople pitching “value and benefits” for the CEO, differentiate yourself from other reps by showing your vulnerability. For example, here’s how you might kick off your call with the EA:
“Hi, Mike. I’m going to be reaching out to Wendy soon, and I don’t want to look stupid … what’s the one thing I definitely shouldn’t say?”
Ah — now you’ve got their attention. The EA can be critical in your campaign to reach the CEO, so don’t shoot yourself in the foot by dismissing them.