How To Utilise The International Impact Of Your CEO

Here at Exportia, before approaching European distributors or multinationals, we collaborate with CEOs first to prepare our sales pitch. Because they are in charge and fully aware of the issue their business solves, they know what motivates customers to purchase their solution or product. To prevent sales from failing, you must consider several factors when including your CEO in an international sales process.

Here are the three key factors your business should consider in order to make the most out of your CEOs internationally

  • The Ghost CEO
  • Treat them as a Reward
  • No Need to Stick

The Ghost CEO

Sometimes the negotiation may get too intense, and you have a lot of factors to consider, so there may be occasions when you can use your CEO’s power to leave, regroup with management, and return to the consultation table after consulting with management. You can use your CEO as a business checkpoint to rethink and reevaluate any discussions with international distributors or multinationals.

In every business meeting, your clients will not accept your offers right away. Most of the time, they will negotiate for the pricing and everything in between. If a client asks for a concession that is too unfavourable to the business, I normally suggest that I need to ask the CEO or management first before deciding.

With my years of experience working with small businesses that are trying to expand in the European market, when this happens, I already know it will be a no, so we may as well go on to another issue.

The Compass CEO

CEOs are great to work with as a compass to navigate the negotiation.  Overall, I discovered that having a transparent sales and approval process that the CEO feels at ease with was really important for our success in developing businesses in Europe. Since our CEO is our strongest ally, we want to make sure we rely on them when it’s important to sign a contract. When negotiating a partnership, we like to formalise with the CEO the process we are going to take the European customer through, to sign a deal or partnership.

In some other occasions, you may have to leave a contract if there isn’t enough to make it a win-win situation. You need to make sure the CEO agrees on the point at which his business should walk away.  But this is a tiny world, and you may meet paths again in another condition of business life. Then, I believe it is appropriate to exit gracefully, and it may be beneficial to consult the CEO to properly conclude the connection between you and your clients. It’s a good idea to have an exit strategy. Before approaching your business partner and negotiating an agreement, be sure you know exactly what you want from the break.

The “Reward” CEO

We frequently target multinational corporations since we concentrate on developing small businesses in the European market, and we usually operate in technical areas and B2B. We cannot be perceived as a micro-business and for us to gain credibility with huge European corporations, I like to bring in the CEO and present to the top management to show the importance of the partnership or how the business is supportive of the customer.

If the CEO is present during the sales calls, it gives the European buyer the sense that this is not a one-man show. What we value is the opportunity to contact the CEO at important points throughout a sale. They are our hidden weapons.

Exportia Export Readiness Diagnostic ToolDo you want to know how to best organise your team to maximise your success in Europe? Do you need some European sales horsepower? Then make time with one of our European Sales Specialists to discuss where you are at and where you want to go.

Want to know more about how to effectively market your business in the European market? Get your FREE copy of “The 4 Steps to Generate Your First Million Euros in Sales” book here:

You can also create an initial Export Readiness Diagnostic within 20 minutes here: It will show you a report summarising if your business is ready and includes a personalised to-do list for your next step.

Contact me to schedule a 30-minute debriefing session with me once you have your report.