Emily Hardin-When You Have to Pitch to the CEO


Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Emily Hardin.

About the interviewee

Emily Hardin is the Client Services Executive for Enlight Research, a company focused on delivering results to Board of Directors.  Prior to her role at Enlight, Ms. Hardin advised entrepreneurial businesses in bringing innovative services to market.  She also worked at Clarkston Consulting and consulted with large consumer product companies.  Her experience includes strategy and process improvement in operations, sales and marketing.  Ms. Hardin graduated from North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Business Management.

Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.). 

Enlight Research’s mission is to provide a revolutionary, new way for CEOs to engage with their board of directors.  Enlight provides customized industry and financial information to help you manage the board and improve their decisions in the boardroom.  Enlight’s subscription-based service provides you direct access to industry news, research, and financial information through Board Brief, our fully customizable iPad application.  Our analysts aggregate content daily, ensuring that it’s tailored to meet the specific needs of your organization.  It takes work and time off the C-Suite’s team and enables them to participate in truly strategic decisions in a new way.

Enlight Research employs 8 staff and is located in Durham, North Carolina.  We work with public, private, and non-profit companies in a variety of industries.

What type and size of companies do you have as clients?

We work with public, private, and non-profit companies in a variety of industries.  Most of our clients have annual revenue of $50 million up to $5 billion + in annual revenue.

What comes to mind when you see this topic?

When you have to pitch to the CEO, one of the first things that come to mind is tackling the challenge of getting in front of the CEO.  A personal referral is always a great way to tackle this issue.
The next challenge is holding the CEOs attention.  CEOs are very busy people but typically have found ways to successfully manage their time. When pitching to the CEO, let your passion catch their attention.  The CEO needs to know immediately that you are confident in the benefits of your product or service.

What are the best practices when it comes to this issue?

When possible, secure a face to face meeting versus over the phone
Communicate the benefits of your product or services immediately
Quickly build confidence, talk-the-talk of their particular business
Keep the topics of your discussion narrow and strategy focused
Ask questions to keep the CEO engaged
State your case, provide specifics on how your product can help the CEO and his resources save valuable time, energy, and money

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