Digg This Save to del. Got some free time this weekend? I'm part of the faculty, along with some other people whom I highly respect. It's well worth your time! He offers some excellent insights that can help you get more business.
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Pick up the key ideas in the book with this quick summary. Being a salesperson can be a thankless job. Why is sales so challenging? The issue is one of attention. Every buyer, especially those at large companies, is bombarded with sales requests, every day.
Chances are your practiced pitch on voicemail will be lost among hundreds of other requests. Yet there is another way to make a sale. This book summary show you how to cut through the noise and get your message noticed by the people that matter, even by buyers in the biggest companies! Even finding and connecting with the right person to make a sale can be difficult, as such people often keep themselves well-insulated from the onslaught of daily sales calls.
Corporate decision-makers are busy people. As just one of many examples, consider that the director of a pharmaceutical company told the author that he starts work every day at a. Rather, you need to demonstrate to these business leaders that your product or service will be immediately beneficial to them by focusing on the specific value your products and services will bring to the company.
You want to make them think and consider new perspectives. You have to make this change more palatable by explaining how you and your products and services will make their processes faster or cheaper, and thus make their lives easier. A solid understanding of how the company makes decisions will give you a great push in the right direction.
Some salespeople feel that the best way to maximize business opportunities is by casting a wide net. Intuitively, this makes sense: if you contact more people, then surely more people will reply with interest to your sales proposal. Corporate leaders want to hear strong proposals, and making a strong proposal means having expertise. Buyers like to work with specialists that understand their business, inside and out. Only with this narrow expertise can you offer a perfectly tailored solution that will delight your clients and increase your sales.
Start by analyzing the demographics like size and industry and psychographics such as management style, reputation, values of your existing clients. Ask yourself: Which do I most enjoy working with?
And of these, which are the most profitable? Using these details as your guide, create a new list of ten companies to make up your new target group.
Now you can focus on these companies and build your expertise to make stronger, more nuanced proposals.
Next, develop a strong value proposition , or a clear definition of possible outcomes when a client uses your product or service, tailored to each specific client. Remember: your product or service is just a tool. Decision-makers care less about the tools and more about the results. Communicating your value propositions means speaking the language of decision-makers and being as specific as possible when it comes to tangible value. Instead, tell them that their company could increase its market share by seven percent just by using your product or service.
Interestingly, the tools you need to earn the attention of corporate prospects are available to everyone, yet few salespeople seem to know how to use them. The most powerful weapon in your arsenal is research. Be on the lookout as well for major events, such as downsizing, poor quarterly earnings or new management that could offer insights into the types of challenges the company is facing. In your research, you will eventually notice patterns, and develop a list of typical problems or opportunity indicators that can identify potential clients.
The author, for example, focused on companies that were developing new products and expanding. If a company received a new round of funding or announced a new service, it indicated to her that the company could benefit from her services. Use your contacts intelligently. Instead, look for events that your target decision-makers are likely to attend, such as trade shows or VIP conferences, and try to talk to them there. You can also talk to your existing clients and colleagues about your plans to get in contact with a specific corporate decision-maker.
Even the author has used this trick when she was unable to find contact information elsewhere. Luckily her clients had contacts at the company she wanted to connect with, and were more than happy to introduce her to them! Another angle could be making strategic alliances with salespeople who work in the same industry or offer similar services.
So now you have some useful tips on how to contact corporate decision-makers. But first you have to identify who those people are! Start by defining the type of person who would be most interested in hearing about your product or service. Think about which positions could be responsible for making the decision to purchase or trial your services. Is it the person responsible for new product launches? Or maybe someone in finance or operations?
If you have no luck there, then you can always try calling the company directly and asking for names. On average, it will take you seven to ten contact attempts before a decision-maker will talk with you about your offer. Be prepared not only to leave several voicemail messages but also talk to the assistants of decision-makers in a cordial, professional way.
If you want to send a short reminder or follow-up, always offer new information, such as an article with new, insightful facts, about your service. I work for XYZ Marketing and we create the best marketing strategies. Would you be interested? Call me back at your earliest convenience!
Do you reply? First, make yourself sound credible, by either referencing your referral if you have one or otherwise indicating why the person should care about what you have to say.
Could you reduce their waste-disposal costs by five percent? Tell them so! Finally, close confidently. Talk to them like a peer, not like some groveling salesperson! Improving that skill means developing a tailored script for each client, and practicing and improving on it.
Leaving messages can feel strange, and you can make a lot of mistakes in just a few seconds! Your goal should be then to perfect your pitch for voicemail. Ask your colleagues and clients how your pitch sounds and, most importantly, whether they would call you back if they listened to such a pitch.
Leave a message on your own voicemail, too! With enough practice, you can transform your script into bullet points to allow you to speak freely and deliver the best, most natural message to your prospective clients. Written communications, such as letters and emails, also belong to your account entry campaign. You already learned the basics about arousing curiosity verbally, but letters differ in a number of important ways.
The body of the letter should highlight possible beneficial outcomes for the company if it chooses your service, including concrete numbers and references from other clients. Finally, end your letter by promising future value, being sure to sound like a peer and not as a salesperson. Writing emails adds yet another layer of difficulty to correspondence, as emails need to be short and to the point. The hardest thing about emails is that they are often deleted before the decision-maker has even read them.
Instead, use your referral or some other relevant trigger word or subject. Moreover, because emails are often displayed in a preview window, you want to be sure your key points are visible at the top of body of the email. This means avoiding emails longer than words!
So now you know how to get your foot in the door of a big company! The final book summarys will show you how to communicate with corporate decision-makers themselves. Leaving dozens of voicemail messages every week will soon become routine. However, you should always expect someone to pick up! Nothing is more embarrassing than fumbling over your words when you finally have a live prospect on the phone.
After identifying who the decision-maker is, the next biggest hurdle is actually talking to her for the first time! Before you call someone, give yourself a pep talk and run through your value proposition.
Instead, work up to the bigger ones by starting with the smaller ones. After all, practice makes perfect! First, create credibility and spark curiosity. Then, start asking preplanned and provocative questions to start a dialogue.
They just want an excuse to get off the phone! Instead, explain what value your service can offer them specifically. Stay focused and use the resources that are available to you. Gatekeepers are highly skilled at distinguishing between trustworthy salespeople and spam. Even if you succeed in bypassing them with manipulation, it will only come back to haunt you in the long run. Instead, be upfront with how you could be of help for their boss. And always connect the conversation with a reference to your last call or email.
Eventually, the gatekeeper is going to remember your name and might even offer you insightful information about the company. Nevertheless, check in once each quarter. Once per quarter, send the decision-maker something like an interesting article that highlights the benefits of your product or service. If the decision-maker has changed her priorities, she might finally call you back. Now comes the most important part — your first meeting.
Selling To Big Companies Summary and Review
Pick up the key ideas in the book with this quick summary. Being a salesperson can be a thankless job. Why is sales so challenging? The issue is one of attention. Every buyer, especially those at large companies, is bombarded with sales requests, every day. Chances are your practiced pitch on voicemail will be lost among hundreds of other requests.
Selling to BIG Companies
Here are the passages I highlighted:. After the first reading, I strongly suggest a focus on your value proposition. Weak value propositions are the most common root cause of ineffective selling. When pursuing corporate contracts, most sellers want to ensure that decision makers know all about the full range of products, services, or solutions that they provide.
Notes on Selling to Big Companies
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