Every company wants to make it big and have companies like IBM, GE and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in their list of clients. Approaching major brands/corporations can be quite daunting. It’s not easy to get the attention of these giants, but the entrepreneurial mind does not take no for an answer. When you are on the outside looking in, you need a little creativity if you want to get the attention of larger companies.
Here are six strategies you can use to fine-tune your methods of approaching that big brand.
- Breakdown Larger Companies into Smaller Components
Don’t focus on the overall company, target a smaller division or department. For example, if you want to approach a behemoth such as GE, narrow down on the procurement department of Industrial Power Generation division of GE Oil & Gas.
- Solve an Overlooked or Smaller Problem
This is basically a foot-in-the-door approach to sales. Larger corporations already have the basics covered. Make your initial contact by focusing on a smaller issue your prospect has overlooked.
- Earn that Coveted Spot on the Executive’s Calendar
Corporate decision makers don’t have much time; you need to do a lot of research into the background of the company before you make that initial contact. Learn as much as you can about the company, the industry and the marketplace. Look up what issues they faced, their challenges, objectives and goals. Get a handle on how their processes and methodologies work.
- Talk the talk
Speak the language of the business you are targeting. Do not provide generalized descriptions of your products/services. Focus on the results companies care about such as accelerating time to revenue, increase sales to new segments, reduction in supply costs, etc.
- Plan Your Campaign
Decide which aspects of your value propositions you want to emphasize to your contacts. Typically, you will need to try several times before you get a response to your calls/emails. Plan out what information you will include from the start and keep it consistent. All content should be business-focused.
- Take Advantage of Trigger Events
Smart sellers keep track of what is happening in the target company by monitoring the media. Any major external or internal events can present an open opportunity for sales. Internal trigger events include mergers, venture capital funding, sell-offs, spin-offs and change in leadership. External triggers such as economic issues, government legislation, competitive moves, or industry trends also present ample opportunities for a successful approach.
Putting Your Best Foot Forward
When initiating contact, you will need to pay attention to what you want to say. Narrow down which points you will be focusing on, and make sure all of them are positive. Here are a few things you will want to highlight during introductions:
- Any tough goals which you have achieved (Focus on numbers and client satisfaction)
- How do you measure outcomes and which ones are you most proud of?
- The business results you are proudest of (Focus on ROI)
- The segment of clients you have worked most closely with
- The kind of projects you excel at (focus on what your can do better than your competitors)
Remember, breaking into large companies requires a lot of planning, research and persistence. The decision makers at large corporations demand that you only approach them if you are extremely well prepared, so play it safe and over-prepare. Make a strong business case, offer valuable insights, ideas and information. Show them how you can help their company improve business, reduce costs or increase revenue.
Use these tactics to break through the corporate barrier. A little creativity coupled with a lot of hard work goes a long way. You can easily turn your dreams of having an impressive client roster if you put in the time and effort it takes. Like the adage goes, chance only favors the prepared mind.