Adopt an Executive Mindset,
with Dawn Garibaldi & Dr. Stephen Timme

Welcome to part one of our Insights From the Other Side of The Desk Series: How to Adopt an Executive Mindset.

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Dr. Stephen Timme, FinListics President, and Founder sat down with Dawn Garibaldi, Former Vice President, Supply Chain, at Proctor & Gamble to discuss what buying executives really want from your solutions and sellers.

Dawn spent 30 years with Procter and Gamble managing many different business units and sitting on leadership teams for multiple continents. She was responsible for large budgets across buying, engineering, manufacturing, logistics, customer service, and eventually global innovation for the entire Pampers brand. So not only has Dawn been sold to but has had to sell up and down the chain as well.

Having interviewed a lot of executives, and having worked with a lot of buying executives, adopting an executive mindset is really about three main things:

1. Tell me something I don’t know
2. Demonstrate the business outcomes of your solutions
3. Show the financial benefits

We’ve talked to a lot of the executives from Fortune 500 companies. And one of the number one thing they say is, “tell me something I don’t know.” It always really surprised me because they have a big staff and consultants. So, what is something a seller could tell them that they don’t already know? I asked Dawn this question and she said:

“You know, there’s a lot of things sellers could share with us that we don’t already know, When you’re at the level that I was at for half of my career, you know, the pressure is high. And metaphorically, we’ve got blinders on. By that I mean, we’ve got our heads down delivering against some really stretch targets across broader and broader organizations. And we start to lose bandwidth to pay attention to anything that’s not right on that straight path. So, when you’re with big global companies, there are going to be peers in the industry that our sellers and our suppliers are going to have more insights into or additional solutions that I may not have heard about yet because I don’t often have time to pick up my head and look around. But a seller is always picking up those types of insights and those types of solutions. And sometimes, even within our own company, across categories or technologies, you may have a seller who sells across categories, but it’s not my job to pay attention to what’s happening in another category. I am head down on delivering my goals.”

One question we’ve asked sellers many, many times is, “How well does your sales team know their client?” And it’s really interesting that:

1. Only 17% said we’re considered trusted advisors (the holy grail!)
2. 44% said they struggle to align their solutions
3. And almost 40% said they promote features and functions

As you can see, there’s still a lot of room for improvement out there! What we focus on here at FinListics is helping more sellers get to that level of being trusted advisors. And where we start is by talking about the ABCs of Insight-Led Selling. The A? You guessed it! It’s Adopting an Executive Mindset and that’s what we focus on during this episode with Dawn.

So you might be asking yourself, why is it important to adopt an executive mindset? Dawn says:

“If you're a seller, and you want to get my attention, I want to know that you've done your homework and that you're here to talk about my business, goals, and objectives. Now, that could also be talking about my problems. But if you're coming to me and my stakeholders, first and foremost, I want to know from you that it's about us, and it's about serving our business. To do that, you've got to put yourself in my shoes and start thinking about: What are my objectives? What are my goals? What are my challenges? And how am I measured?”

In this episode, we cover three primary areas on how to adopt an executive mindset:

1. What are the customer’s goals and strategies?
2. How are they performing financially?
3. How are executives compensated?

Click here to watch Stephen and Dawn’s full conversation about adopting an executive mindset.

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