Tips of the Trade: “How To Get Your Foot in The Door of the Big Companies”
By Rosalie Marcus, The Promo Biz Coach
I don’t have to tell you how hard it is to get an appointment in a big company these days. Voice mail is constantly on and your phone message is never returned. If you’re lucky enough to get a live person on the line, it’s usually the gatekeeper and she/he tells you they already have a vendor they’re working with and to call back next year. And it’s only February!
So what’s a savvy promotional professional to do?
Read Jill Konrath’s book, Selling To Big Companies, that’s what!
Jill’s an expert on selling to big companies and she talks from experience. No theory here. She understands your struggles because she’s been there, done that! In fact, her own sales consulting business crashed a few years back, but rather than give up, she picked herself up and discovered what works to get those big company sales. You can benefit from her mistakes and her research!
Here are some key points from Selling To Big Companies:
1. Corporate executives are too busy to listen to the same old elevator speech. What they really want to hear is how your company will make a difference for them. They’re not interested in your products; they’re interested in the results your products will get for them. They want numbers and quantifiable results.
2. Preparation is absolutely essential. You can’t wing it. You need to understand the challenges the companies you’re calling on are facing. You need a customized approach to separate your company from the competition. Yes, this requires some extra effort, but is well worth the rewards. Jill shares with you step- by- step how to be really prepared.
3. Start out small when getting into big companies. Get your foot in the door, perhaps in a smaller division at first with a small order and prove your worth. (That was exactly my experience when selling to a major pharmaceutical company. I did a small order of awards for an obscure department, which eventually led to other bigger departments, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of business!)