Making the Executive Sponsor a hero is one of the goals that we have as vendors, suppliers or partners. We know that if we do, it is good for us. Sometimes we do the impossible and it just does not seem to get us much credit. Other times, we do good work but nothing extraordinary and the customer is ecstatic. These reactions in part have something to do with how the executive in our customer’s company is trying to brand himself or herself. To get promoted, each executive is trying to create an image to the company of what type of a performer he or she is. There are four core categories for performance upon which an executive wants to be viewed:
- Operational expert – Keeps the operation humming
- Revenue generator – Sales or business development, they make the money
- Problem solver – They get brought in to fix things when there is a mess
- Ideas person – They want to be seen as the visionary, creative approaches person
Arguably, every executive wants to demonstrate all of these, but the executive is building his or her reputation on being exceptional in one of these areas. If what you do for that executive fits in that area, you are aligned with building the executive’s personal brand. If what you are doing is in another area, the benefit you provide is less valued.
If you can determine the value your buyer is trying to show and be a part of that brand effort, you have a greater chance of decisions favoring your company.