Summary of the book "Sales to large companies"

    Gil Konrath is a recognized sales expert for large companies. Her list of clients includes such companies as 3M, Medtronic, United Health Group, General Mills, RSM McGladrey, Hilton, which have the best sales departments in the world. Jill helps clients develop new ways to create value for their customers, and this is a powerful competitive advantage that sets them apart from competitors. Her book is an excellent guide to working with large companies. The strategies and techniques outlined in it are suitable for any b2b sales, irrespective of the size of the proposed counterparties. The book will tell how to start cooperation with new customers - large companies, expand the offer for existing customers and how to make it profitable, for a long time and with pleasure.

    book cover sale to big companies


    A few years ago, sales training that I led suddenly came to an end. The struggle to establish contact with corporate clients has become the scale of the epidemic. I set a goal: to find out what is needed to get access to large companies again.

    I had to talk with a lot of people and experiment with a variety of techniques and strategies. Then I concentrated on removing the obstacles I encountered on my way.

    And suddenly, I began to get audiences from key decision makers. Continuing to act in the same vein, I finally realized that my approach would bring success to any specialist engaged in sales in the B2B sector. Since then, almost all my trainings have been dedicated to how to get access to large companies. This is a critical question regarding sellers from any industry. So far, not all of them know what they should do differently in order to succeed - that is why I wrote this book.

    Compared with yesterday, we are surrounded by a completely different world. To succeed in the crazy conditions of the modern market, new approaches are needed. The use of good old techniques will not lead you anywhere, especially in a large corporation.

    I wrote a book to help you reach out to large corporate clients and get big contracts. I wish to find in it everything you need to achieve your goals. Have a good sales year!

    Part I. Accept the Challenge

    Chapter 1. Why no one calls you back

    The idea of ​​working with large customers seems unbelievable to most sellers. Even experienced professionals get lost before meeting with the corporate monster. For a long time I had to get used to the fact that the decision makers in large companies are ordinary people. It just so happens that they work here.

    The current situation is due to a combination of a number of market factors that actually created the “perfect storm” for sellers. Below are the current trends affecting sales:

    • large companies continue to grow and globalize. They are constantly restructured, reorganized and optimized. Permanent changes lead to the emergence of an army of tired, regularly suffering from overtime work of employees who have a persistent antipathy to the next transformations;
    • corporate decision-makers continue to master new technologies in order to improve communication, improve their knowledge, make rational use of time and prevent failures in their already overloaded schedule;
    • the competition is getting tougher as identical products appear literally overnight. Potential customers do not believe that any company is able to retain a competitive advantage for a long time;
    • confronted daily with a flurry of marketing information, corporate buyers are increasingly becoming immune to even the weakest attempts at self-promotion from sellers. And this storm will not subside in the near future.

    These trends make it harder:

    • determine where decisions are made and who specifically participates in this process;
    • convince overloaded customers to find time to meet with you;
    • differentiate your offer from competitors without disturbing its profitability;
    • demonstrate your exceptional value in meetings with customers - so much so that decision makers will want to work with you, despite higher prices.

    To be successful in a radically changing sales world, it is important to rethink how to start working with customers. The first task is to examine your existing approach to large companies in order to determine where changes are needed. 

    Most sellers, tormented in trying to describe their company and offer in the best possible way, are rarely distracted in order to hear how their offer sounds from the point of view of potential customers.

    A successful modern salesman spends significantly more time than the average, on thinking about, studying and preparing to meet with the customer. Careful analysis is an exceptional quality that determines the result of an interaction. Successful sales begin with a deep understanding of the customer.

    Chapter 2. How to do business with large and very large companies.

    If there are few large customers in your customer base, you can easily endow them with exaggerated abilities. However, corporations are constantly turning to third-party resources that help them improve their operations.

    My first contract with a large company was made in the amount of $ 10,000. Eight years later and 500,000 dollars earned, I still worked with her. During this time, I worked with many departments involved in various projects related to my professional field. Some were very ambitious, which allowed me to master skills that I hadn’t even dreamed of before this job. As a rule, large companies are much less price sensitive than small ones. They understand that competent specialists and quality products cannot be cheap.

    When their financial indicators stop being optimistic, analysts start to press down, and suddenly the movement stops. Budgets are frozen, and cost cutting is becoming common. If you bet too much on one player, then your financial stability may falter overnight.

    ... but
    in the end, you improve your skills, which makes you more competitive. And finally, there is nothing better than having well-known corporations on your list.

    Most sellers find it easier to start working with the functional unit, since there they can:

    • find out the names of decision makers;
    • to analyze, without losing sight of the scale of the company;
    • find out where problems and gaps may appear in their activities;
    • determine what the differences are between them;
    • apply an individualized entry strategy.

    Apply a gradual entry strategy

    I believe that the conclusion of the initial contract with a large company is quite up to you. The best way to do this is to find and satisfy the urgent need of your potential customer. You can start small and take advantage of small opportunities to form long-term relationships. New business opportunities will emerge if you focus on helping customers improve their operations.

    Find the most effective focus point. Many years ago, I discovered that it was much easier for me to establish relationships with large companies if I focused my input strategy on a specific business problem. As soon as I was able to successfully complete the project, I informed clients that I could help in resolving other issues.

    Look at existing customers - is there a pattern in how you entered into your first contract with them? Ask yourself the following questions:

    • What did you start with: with a specific type of problem or with an opportunity? if so, with what?
    • Did you have a unique product that interested potential buyers? if so, why was he of interest? What value did you offer?
    • Is it possible to say that they preferred you because they believed that the existing supplier could not solve the problems that had arisen in certain areas of their business? If so, what problems did you solve?

    I strongly recommend carefully studying the competitors. Ideal companies do not exist. Find the weak links in their product and use this in order to get into the corporation with your own proposal deprived of these defects. Do not face your heads with competitors. Track their omissions.

    If you are trying to start working with a large company, take on any project that you are offered - even if it is not among your direct interests. The nuggets can turn into highly profitable relationships.

    Divide large sentences into parts. If your product costs a lot of money, it will be much more difficult for you to conclude the first contract with a large company. You will encounter difficulties related to budget coordination, red tape with the sighting of documents, a crowd of employees involved, increased transparency and a high degree of personal risk for decision makers.

    If possible, think about how you can create smaller solutions. The easier it is for customers to start using your product, the sooner you will get into a large company. Try to determine which part of your proposal could be the best starting strategy. Do not complicate the situation.

    Chapter 3. Try to understand decision makers

    Large corporations are under intense pressure forcing them to show confident financial indicators to shareholders. If they fail to meet quarterly forecasts, the market’s response will be merciless. There will be a fall in stock prices, a rising cost of borrowing and firing. Those who managed to resist, take on the work performed earlier by two or three employees. Cooperating with large companies means to be in the midst of this hell.

    Key employees often face ever-growing, unrealistic expectations — work more, better, and faster. In the face of constant cuts, it is important to look busy. This is a kind of work. People prefer to sit quietly, do everything possible, and stay in the shade longer. Often they think about how to please the authorities, and not about solving difficult issues.

    Corporate buyers are also very smart about the options that they have. They know that a product like yours is widely available — and probably at a lower price. From their point of view, almost everything is a commodity. Cynicism reigns. The only thing that can be opposed to him is stories about real customers with a tangible and measurable result.

    People in large companies do face a huge burden. They are usually too busy to:

    • explore ways to improve the company's existing systems, processes and techniques, despite the fact that because of this they can lose an incredible amount of time or money;
    • deal with problems that have not yet entered the stage of crisis;
    • plan ahead for the future;
    • identify critical success factors;
    • identify gaps in your work
    • implement popular strategies.

    Instead of dealing with the causes, they treat the symptoms, which ultimately leads to negative consequences. 

    The last thing that decision-makers in corporations are willing to do is additional work. They are already overloaded, and the mountain of affairs continues to grow. Even the most positive change breaks the balance. Outsourcing continues to gain momentum as companies focus on key areas of expertise.

    In the conditions of the modern market you can not always make decisions in your favor. And while you will always win back part of the budget for your product from other articles of expenditure.

    Mistakes that you wouldn’t want to commit:

    • Do not waste time potential customers in vain. If you are trying to make an appointment for them, be sure to give good reasons for this;
    • Do not try to make friends with them. Those who constantly suffer from lack of time will not waste precious seconds discussing their trip to Mexico with a stranger who is trying to sell them something. First of all, you need to prove your commercial value;
    • Do not expect them to talk about their business. If you before the call or meet, study the situation, it will not cause questions. But if you do not do this, then completely destroy your trust in you;
    • Do not turn the meeting into a "dump" of proposals. It’s a big mistake to believe that the best is to set out a proposal, going into the smallest details. Emphasis should be placed on the main point, and nothing good will come of an overly detailed story;
    • do not use selfish vocabulary. The more often you claim that your offer is “the best of all possible”, the less potential client believes you;
    • Do not expect potential customers to intuitively feel the value of the offer or do all the calculations for you.

    Chapter 4. The most important thing is to create differences

    Over the years, I have talked with many people who felt extremely ineligible for this kind of work, because they:

    • did not consider themselves brisk interlocutors;
    • did not like to praise their products;
    • abhorred their boastfulness by their abilities, “they did not know how to improvise properly”
    • did not have confident skills in closing transactions.

    New model of success in sales

    Modern sellers are obliged to focus on finding problem areas or missed opportunities within the customer's business that are not in the field of view of competitors. Focusing on demand generation is a proactive and stimulating measure, in contrast to the traditional seller’s response to existing needs.

    By bringing into the relationship your knowledge, competence and ideas, you separate yourself from peddlers who are trying to sell a product. As a result, you become irresistible and customers want to deal with you. The best sellers are an integral asset of their client’s business.

    As soon as you target a large company, start asking yourself the questions listed below to determine the difference that you can form:

    • How can this company deal with my offer?
    • What are the potential problems it faces?
    • What of my toolkit can be used to positively impact her business?
    • what I (people in my company) know about this industry, market, processes, working cycle, challenges; What could be useful to the client? why?
    • How similar are the problems of this company to the problems of my other clients?
    • What measures could she have applied to solve these problems or to achieve goals?
    • What strategic initiatives are already being implemented?

    Please note that none of these issues are related to sales. Everything is focused on improving the business. You are the initiator of change, and you need to think accordingly.

    1. Explicitly denote your benefits. Provide numbers, percentages, timeframes, and statistics. When you first contact, you must state your value clearly and loudly so that everyone can hear.
    2. Personalize any contact. Whenever you talk to decision makers, you should mention something that indicates your knowledge of their business, industry.
    3. Be a provocateur. Speak confidently about the business problems with which, as you know, they are facing.
    4. Show how others do it. Particularly interested in how other organizations deal with similar problems.
    5. Communicate on equal terms. If you talk to them with a dog's devotion in a conversation with them, it will affect your trust in you.

    Adopt a new sales paradigm. If you are trying to start working with a large company, you should not focus on your offer. It is necessary that decision-makers in corporations are imbued with your confidence in the promised effect, but achieve this without unnecessary thickening of colors. The best way to demonstrate the effect is to talk about the results that your customers have achieved.

    Your qualifications + your offer = business improvement

    Part II. Create a base

    Chapter 5. The choice of the exact goal: the essence is not in quantity

    By constricting your primary market, you increase sales and profits. The success of sales to large companies no longer depends on the number of potential customers. It does not depend on the time spent on unanswered calls, from calls to hundreds of people in an attempt to find at least someone who wants to meet with you. Today sales are:

    • Aim at the type of company that is most likely to want to purchase your product;
    • Determine a limited number of customers that match the parameters you set;
    • devote all your working time to working out such companies.

    Choose your future customers. In today's hypercompetitive market with a rich selection of potential suppliers, buyers want to work with professionals who truly understand their business. When you know your target market well, you know the exhibitions and sites that are visited by representatives of client companies, magazines and commercial publications that interest them, and even more. You invest less in sales and marketing, and your results are higher, you differentiate your business compared to your competitors, thereby increasing profitability.

    The first key to success in sales to large companies is a clear definition of the ideal customer.. This is a group of potential customers who, because they share common characteristics, are especially susceptible to your products. Begin by identifying demographic indicators or key facts that describe the types of companies you work best with:

    • What industry do they work in?
    • how big is a big company?
    • What are their distribution channels?
    • What technology base do they use?
    • Who are their customers?
    • What stage of development are they at now?

    Determine the psychographic characteristics of your target market:

    • What is the vision and values ​​of companies?
    • What is their reputation in the industry?
    • What are their priorities in terms of management?
    • How do you evaluate their perception of the industry, the product offered: positive, negative, neutral?
    • How can you describe their leadership style?

    You can find the key to understanding large corporations by reading what they write about themselves on their websites, in marketing materials and annual reports. You can learn more by finding out what industry analysts say about the company in online forums or in professional publications. Former and current employees may also be a good source of information.

    As soon as I focused on this narrow segment of the market, my business went up. My target market immediately understood what I could do for them and why it was important. I got the download ten years ahead!

    • establish goals, objectives and strategic requirements (entering new markets, increasing sales, profits or market share, improving operational efficiency, reducing the cost of products sold);
    • identify challenges and problems (falling profitability, low sales, no growth, an extended period from developing new products to bringing them to market, inefficient processes and low productivity).

    Any of the problems that you can identify will help focus on the profile of your ideal client. As your knowledge of the target market increases, adjust your rate if necessary. Your niche will eventually develop. Your personal interests and market conditions may change, forcing you to refocus your efforts. Even customers can make you change - one-time projects that you carry out for them can expand your knowledge, creating new opportunities.

    Having identified the target market, identify the companies that fully comply with the parameters you have formulated. You will have to choose the right companies no matter where they are, and work with them. Use the target market criteria to determine the top ten large organizations you would like to work with next year.

    Claim your rights to the target market right now. Become a professional, develop your competence, look for ways to increase business within your segment.

    Chapter 6. Is your value proposition convincing enough?

    Without an offer that is truly attractive to target buyers, it is difficult to arrange a meeting with decision makers.

    Value proposition is a clear statement of the tangible results a customer will receive from using your products. It is focused on results and emphasizes the value of your proposal.

    A convincing value proposition is expressed specifically and often includes numbers or percentages. It may contain as a demonstration of your abilities a brief description of working with similar clients.

    Blitz summary and unique trade offers are equally useless. Blitz resume has no specifics needed for sales in the corporate market. UTP has absolutely no effect on those who do not want any changes and is useless when interacting with large companies. These offers absolutely do not contain measurable, quantitatively displayed commercial results.

    Corporate buyers are particularly attracted by phrases related to their business goals. Since this is what customers expect to hear, make sure that you include business results-oriented terms in your value proposition:

    • increased profitability;
    • shorter period from product development to market launch;
    • cost reduction;
    • improved operational efficiency;
    • global integration of activities;
    • improvement of the organization;
    • increasing customer loyalty;
    • integrating e-commerce in marketing and sales;
    • increase market share;
    • reduction of staff turnover;
    • improve customer retention;
    • increased competitive differentiation;
    • reduced response time;
    • reduced operating costs;
    • increase in sales per customer;
    • improving the use of fixed assets;
    • accelerated receipt of payments;
    • cost reduction of the sold product;
    • risk minimization;
    • additional revenue streams;
    • increase market share;
    • improved payback time;
    • increase in paid work hours;
    • reduced cycle time;
    • increased inventory turnover;
    • faster sales cycle;
    • reduction of direct labor costs.

    The best value offers provide tangible, measurable results that are highly desirable for potential buyers. Stories are another way to create concreteness, they allow you to convey your message without making any allegations that are applicable to any case. When you are looking for a value proposition, do not stop at one thing. Identify all the differences that you are able to ensure that you have a choice. Always try to quantify both indirect and direct benefits. To increase sales success, make intangible assets tangible. For example, an improvement in morale entails a reduction in the number of sick-lists and a decrease in turnover.

    Powerful value propositions open the door, and fast! The time spent trying to make your sentences clear is not lost in vain. If you cannot identify specific numbers, use at least commercial terminology.

    Impressive business results coupled with real-life stories are ideal for corporate buyers. That is the essence of value propositions. They attract. They are hypnotizing. They open the doors. They lead you to large companies.

    You will immediately see a change in attitude towards you when you find the right wording for your value proposition. Its adaptation to the specific goals of a potential client provides an even higher level of attractiveness. Once you have clearly formulated a sentence, you can use it to:

    • make a plan for a telephone conversation, which will highlight the key business results provided by your product;
    • write business letters to decision makers in your target companies;
    • laying the foundation of your marketing campaign and marketing materials;
    • create a customer-oriented PowerPoint presentation database;
    • develop a key message transmitted as part of your customized offer to the customer.

    When you know that your product provides a valuable difference, you sell a lot more!

    Chapter 7. Strengthen your value proposition.

    The challenge facing you is to create such a tempting value proposition that when your potential customers hear it, they will say "I need to know more about this."

    Principles for creating compelling offers:

    • talk about results, not about products or processes;
    • tie the results to important business objectives;
    • indicate statistical indicators;
    • Refer to the success of real customers.

    If you are new to sales, talking with existing customers should be your top priority. If you sell your own services, by interviewing your customers you will receive valuable information about what they consider important. To arrange meetings, ask clients to assist you. Convince that you want to understand them in order to better serve them in the future. Carefully analyze customer responses to determine the value you represent for him.

    The following are questions you can ask to determine your true value proposition:

    • Before you start using our offer, how did you handle the situation?
    • Why did you decide to change the supplier and use our services?
    • assistance in achieving what goals you expect from our offer?
    • How would you rate (on a scale from 1 to 10) our proposal in terms of helping you achieve the desired result? Justify your assessment.
    • Are there any positive results that surprised you?
    • What are the three most important benefits that you have gained from purchasing our product (our cooperation)?
    • What value did our offer bring to your company? How would you quantify the value of such improvements?
    • How did this affect ...? What were its consequences for ...? What was the effect for ...?
    • What improvements have you implemented? How will this affect your bottom line or target growth?
    • What did our decision allow you to do from what you couldn’t do before?
    • What is its value for your company?
    • Are there other areas of your company that have benefited from our cooperation?
    • Can you help me quantify the benefits of using our offer?

    Questions for group discussion, asking which again and again, you are much closer to the real value that you bring to customers:

    • What problems does our product solve?
    • How do these problems affect other parts of the company?
    • How does our product affect the totals of our customers or their expenses?
    • What positive impact does our proposal have on raising additional revenue and business opportunities for customers?
    • Will our offer allow customers to achieve a competitive advantage? if so, how?
    • Does our offer have another positive impact on customers? if so, which one?
    • let this system be effective, and then what?
    • they improved communication, and what's next?
    • we are reducing the time required for work to be completed in two days, but what next?

    The more materially you make your value proposition, the easier it is to get on the threshold to large companies. If you are an independent professional, team up with a group of colleagues and brainstorm on each other's business cases.

    When I did not have quantitative indicators, instead of exact figures, I emphasized:

    • the time lag between product launch and the achievement of projected sales results;
    • the urgent need to reduce payback time;
    • the high cost of time lost by sales representatives to prepare presentations and proposals;
    • loss of windows of opportunity, opening the way for competitors;
    • uncoordinated messages delivered to trading partners and customers.

    Speak the language of business. Regardless of your profession, it is very important to talk about your work using business terminology.

    Expand your business statistics. Even despite the practice of techniques that are sometimes considered ineffective, your work will have a serious impact on the business, if you have the statistics to prove it.

    Involve new customers in measurements. If you do not yet have statistics, consider how you can engage clients in creating measurement systems that will be useful both for them and for you.

    Use industry statistics. It can be an excellent proof of the need for your product on the market.

    If you have strong relationships with some customers, engage them in analyzing your value proposition. If you are unable to interview customers, try the next option - modeling customer behavior. Find out:

    • Can such a proposal interest them? if so, why? if not, why?
    • What did they find most convincing? why?
    • Was it, from their point of view, boring, weak or insignificant?

    Understand: what is important is not what you say, but what your client hears. If something does not work, stop using it. If something arouses their interest, use it again! If you want to get into large companies, it is very important to find out what your value proposition is and how best to formulate it.

    Chapter 8. Gather information if you want to be accepted.

    To gain access to the manager's office, immerse yourself in his business before contacting him. In the new sales paradigm, knowledge is power. Having superficial knowledge about a potential client's business is not enough.

    After conducting the correct analysis of the situation before calling, you can:

    • find out how your product affects the client’s business;
    • lead provocative discussions, asking appropriate questions in time;
    • to offer valuable ideas on how to increase their efficiency, reduce costs, increase sales or provide a competitive advantage;
    • form a commercial strategy based on awareness;
    • differentiate yourself against all other sellers who are trying to get into the same company.

    When you have identified a new major customer, focus your initial research on the following four areas:

    1. Find an entry point. You need to find business units or divisions within the company that you think are well suited to your proposal.
    2. Learn about their business. The time you spend exploring a potential customer should be directly proportional to its value for your business.
    3. Look for opportunities.
      • problem indicators - information that will help you see that the company is struggling with difficulties that you could solve;
      • Opportunity indicators are information that indicates goals, objectives, or strategic requirements that you can help achieve or implement.
    4. Use their vocabulary. The more familiar words a customer has in your vocabulary, the easier it is to inspire confidence.

    The obvious place to start is the company's website. In the course of the study, constantly ask the question: “What is the beneficial difference my product can bring to this consumer?”

    By being creative, you can find many ways to learn more about what is happening with your target customers.

    • communicate with their customers;
    • talk to the people who work there;
    • order their product or use it;
    • attend exhibitions;
    • talk to their competitors;
    • interview the guide for the article you are writing;
    • ask them to speak at the company to which you belong.

    As soon as you target a large company, your task is to be aware of everything that is happening in its business. You are looking for key events - changes in the organization or in the outside world that can create conditions for the sale of your product. The following important events can create exactly the situation you need to start working with a company:

    • unsatisfactory quarterly or annual results;
    • recent subsidiaries, mergers or acquisitions;
    • obtaining new funding;
    • announcement of the release of an important new product;
    • entering new market segments or new regions;
    • staff reduction or optimization;
    • restructuring and reorganization;
    • new management or owners;
    • new legislation that is already in force or will be adopted soon;
    • resignation or the emergence of a new key manager;
    • downward spiral in business;
    • acquisition of a prestigious client;
    • national or international events and crises;
    • the emergence of new technologies.

    Key events are one of the most important reasons why large companies may suddenly become more receptive to your offer.

    You can follow the situation as follows:

    • register on specialized sites to get information about statements regarding large companies you are watching;
    • read industry magazines or attend association meetings focused on the segment of the industry in which your target customer operates;
    • subscribe to the news and receive notifications about the latest press releases from your customers.

    It is better to concentrate on sales to companies that are particularly susceptible to your offer, reducing and simplifying the sales process.

    Chapter 9. Use Your Connections

    The best reviews come from colleagues within the company. A recommendation from a trusted workmate can open many doors. Without a review, selling is much more difficult. Making professional acquaintances is easy:

    • concentrate on the other person;
    • ask a lot of questions to make him feel meaningful;
    • share ideas and resources to help achieve its goals;
    • stay in touch so that you will not be forgotten.

    Why most of the work on acquiring new acquaintances is a waste of time:

    • most people visiting local professional associations are small and medium businesses;
    • the majority of those who attend such events are good people, but even more interested in sales than you are;
    • if the people you need do not attend these meetings, you are wasting your time. And the longer you do it, the more time you lose.

    Stop hoping that new acquaintances will help you get into large corporations. In today's market, this requires a much more active position.

    Successful work on creating connections can not be spontaneous. It requires an informed approach. When developing a strategy, keep in mind two main objectives:

    • look for the right people to help you reach your customer;
    • Look for someone who has information that can lead you to the next step in your strategy for getting started with clients.

    Blitz summary to find the perfect client through the links:

    1. Use a problem-oriented approach. “I (we) work with companies [specify target market], which [indicate their relationship to the problem] with [specify the question you are solving]”. ”
    2. Use a profit-oriented approach. “I (we) work with / help companies [target market] that want [describe what your customers want].”
    3. Focus on specific capabilities. “I would really like to meet with the marketing director of the sales department of the Prudential Group.”

    It is important that your friends know with whom you want to meet. Be open, and you will be surprised how much you can find out. Regularly send company names within the department to find possible links. Conferences and exhibitions dedicated to their market or industry are the best option to search for potential corporate clients.

    Create opportunities with strategic alliances . Strategic alliances are the most powerful new acquisitions strategy I have ever used. The best partners for a successful strategic alliance are companies with a related specialization and those that sell to the same customers as you.

    Find good partners.Find those whose business goes uphill, who has customers from large companies and who wants to grow.

    Get to know each other first. When you attract another person to work, you must be confident in his professional abilities, ability to serve clients and behave ethically.

    Select one project you will work on. Start with dating - marrying right away is not necessary. This is a good opportunity to look at each other in business and build confidence.

    Expand your contacts. Once you are sure that you want to work with your strategic alliance partner on an ongoing basis, try to take relationships to a new level.

    Part III. Start your deployment campaign

    Chapter 10. Determine who actually makes the decisions.

    Without having a friend in such an organization, you have to break your head a lot to figure out how to get into it. It is very important to clearly describe those with whom you would like to meet. You may need the following information about them:

    • position;
    • area of ​​responsibility;
    • solvable tasks (goals).

    Remember the main thing: during the search for names never sell anything . Only collect information. All opportunities for sale you will receive in the near future!

    Use phone strategies to figure out the names you want.
    Call the help desk and you will find out not only the main number of the company, but also a list of all internal numbers. Try to call one of the units and ask for help. Since the staff of these departments are not very burdened with such calls, they are more likely to tell you the name. Go to the "Contacts" section on the site to find the number of a real person who is ready to help you, fill in the online form. Start with small local offices of large companies. Every time you speak with someone new, you have the opportunity to add some information to your knowledge base.

    Get basic information
    The full name of the person, the correct spelling of the name, the direct number, the email address, the name and surname of the person who transferred my call, as I may need it on the next call.

    Keep moving through the chain of contacts.
    Think about what you need to break through the barriers on the desktops and in the minds of the right managers. You can't just mumble a bland, boring greeting and expect someone to interest you. When calls to large companies become more familiar to you, you can use an unusual approach - to communicate with a sense of humor.

    Use the Internet
    Explore the site of the target business unit or department of a large company. Check out online communities (, for example). Take advantage of business contacts.

    Chapter 11. Stop waiting for you to call back

    To start working with a large corporation, you need to prepare a powerful campaign to develop potential customers. One call is not enough. It is useful to plan from seven to ten contacts before you can infiltrate the company.

    The secret of a powerful campaign to develop potential customers is to spread information among many contact persons about the importance of working with you.

    You need to carefully think through various sales tools to focus on how to help your potential customer's business, as well as convey your messages to it. The potential for collaboration can be very attractive, especially if your initial contract turns into a long-term, high-return business relationship.

    First you need to collect the tools of the seller. The kit must include:

    • telephone conversation scripts with the right person;
    • instructions for overcoming obstacles to working with typical objections;
    • confident letters highlighting the value of your core value propositions for target customers.

    Some proposals that have proven their effectiveness:

    • success stories. Demonstrate the business results your customers have achieved;
    • information documents, special reports, booklets with tips;
    • relevant articles;
    • invitations. The offer to participate in television-saturated seminars, webcasts or even in official seminars will mark your company as a leader in your industry;
    • newsletters. Make sure that you are sending unmasked promotional brochures;
    • books. This may be a small investment with a high return on investment;
    • letter of recommendation before communication;
    • gift baskets. Many doors open to sellers using gift baskets;
    • free samples. However, be more restrained, do not give out too much;
    • postcards. If you send postcards containing tips or valuable information, people will save them.

    It is important to bring your proposal in such an attractive way that after a few contacts, potential customers want to include a meeting with you in their schedule. Study your campaign as a case in point. Get ready for your own campaign.

    Chapter 12. Provocative Letters

    The phone should be the main tool with which you are embedded in large companies. However, written messages: emails, faxes, handwritten notes are tools that support calls, and an important part of your toolbox. Forget mass ezines.

    All mail to target customers must be written specifically for who you want to meet.

    To become attractive to potential customers, your message must meet two criteria:

    1. Excite curiosity, affecting precisely their business problems.
    2. Designate your company as a competent resource that can change the existing situation for the better.

    Adapt the letter for a specific client. Letters should immediately attract the attention of a potential customer. And attention begins with the question asked - this is a great way to attract people.

    Mark the goal in the main part of the letter. It is necessary to help the client to achieve the desired result, instead of distracting from it. Use only business vocabulary.

    Strong conclusion. It is important to offer the client at least one reason why he would like to take the time to communicate with the author of the letter.

    To attract the attention of target customers:

    • show your knowledge of their company;
    • speak business language;
    • tell about your value proposition;
    • write as if you are on an equal footing;
    • make the letter easy to understand;
    • report customer results.

    If you follow these principles, it will increase the effectiveness of your correspondence.

    Chapter 13. Use Email

    Some managers spend so much time traveling that email may be the only way to communicate with them. Properly crafted emails can be a valuable addition to your toolkit for developing new customers.

    Email requires a different writing style. Each message sent is recommended to do:

    • personalized. This means that you need to appeal to something very specific in his business;
    • related to business needs. The letter should be devoted to the problems and challenges of a potential client;
    • concise and informative;
    • containing a reason to start a conversation. You can ask a question, invite the reader to attend the event or ask if he is interested in receiving additional information on this topic;
    • readable from the preview window. Good emails deliver the message quite quickly;
    • not containing expressions typical for spammers (free, secret, true, increase, click here, spam, low prices, affordable, special offer, instant, huge);
    • containing short paragraphs, including no more than two or three sentences;
    • Easy to read from the screen, for which you must use the appropriate font (Verdana, Arial or Helvetica).

    Fortunately, if you disregard style considerations, good emails are almost identical to well-written traditional epistles (see previous chapter). An important difference is the subject of the letter, which must be tempting.

    It is assumed that the use of e-mail in implementation strategies will grow rapidly. If you learn this technique before anyone else, it will give you an advantage.

    Part IV. Break through the barrier

    Chapter 14. Become compelling for key managers.

    Any seller should be ready to talk with a real person every time he calls customers. When you know the profitable difference that you are able to create, you become confident that you deserve the right to distract these important people.

    Practical tactical ideas:

    Organization of a favorable environment. Clean the table so as not to be distracted. Let the plan of what you will say lies before your eyes. Make sure you have paper and pen.

    Combine calls. Take a couple of hours to make all the calls at once.

    First make insignificant calls. Leave calls to the most desirable buyers for later, because at the very beginning the probability of fooling is especially great.

    Refine your goal.Be clear about what you want before you begin.

    Identify the interlocutor’s keywords. Difficulties, problems, worries, questions, bottlenecks, challenges, disappointments - all of these are opportunities for getting into their company.

    Be calm and confident. After all, you want to be so represented on the other end of the wire.

    If the interlocutor says that he has a couple of minutes or that the time is quite appropriate, then you have received permission to start a conversation.

    1. Establish trust. Consumers should feel comfortable and feel that you are a reliable resource (recommendations, preliminary analysis, key event).
    2. Arouse curiosity. Let them know about the business results achieved by your other clients, raise critical issues that your company's companies face and that are related to your offer, etc.
    3. Conduct a dialogue. Ask questions. The best kind of questions is provocative. They stimulate the interlocutor to express their views on business problems.

    The basic rule: never try to convince potential customers that you have a turnkey solution. Instead, ask questions to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of their most pressing business problems.

    Learn more about direction, goals, and critical success factors. Curiosity is good! Stay on the line while you have a lively conversation. When you feel that the other person is interested, this is the right time to suggest the next step. The most important thing is to tell you what positive changes you can bring to their business.

    Chapter 15. Overcome obstacles, eliminate objections

    The main problem is not objections, but that you do not foresee them in advance and risk being caught off guard. Vendors succeeding in today's market, carefully think through all their future steps. They never act spontaneously. Focus on the outstanding issues, not what you sell. Having finished speaking, do not be silent in anticipation of questions from a potential client. Another aspect that you need to tackle is the exact adaptation of your proposals.

    Here are some tips on how to deal with the most common obstacles:

    We are pleased with our supplier.Think about your competitor's weakness. Maybe he demonstrates low efficiency? Is lazy? Spread the boundaries of your thinking to identify possible business problems and the ensuing consequences.

    What do you sell? Is it possible to overcome this situation? Only if you can return to a discussion of their problems, challenges, goals, initiatives and bottlenecks.

    Send me a brochure. Sending a brochure is a waste of time and effort of all participants. That is why it is better to move on to the real issues that are on the agenda. Return the conversation to your value proposition.

    We are too busy now.This technique requires some provocation on your part. Sometimes it is difficult if you do not know the true value of your proposal for their business.

    It is too expensive (difficult, intricate). If you talk about things like the unprofitability of staff turnover or a six-month reduction in the product development cycle, you will never hear such objections.

    You have five minutes - say, time has gone. Focus on the business problems that you solve for your customers, and the results that you provide. You might even want to tell in brief how they helped a particular customer.

    There is no money in our budget.You need to meet with the right manager before approving the budget to make sure that your proposal will be included in it.

    We have a long-term contract with the supplier. You can wait for it to expire, or choose a penetration strategy, finding a gap in the offer of competitors and stubbornly aiming at cooperation.

    We work only with an approved list of suppliers. “Every organization on the list of approved suppliers is there because someone in your company thinks they offer worthy solutions. That’s why I’m calling you. ”

    Think of the objections you regularly face. Analyze which of your actions may cause problems for you. In addition, you should record and work out their arguments.

    Chapter 16. Turn the "gatekeepers" into helpful "doormen"

    Your task is to convince the “gatekeeper” to put you inside without telling about your product. Their help can turn into an invaluable asset. How not to communicate with the "gatekeepers":

    • never lie or try to hide a part of the truth;
    • never use scare tactics;
    • talking to the secretaries, do not consider them fools;
    • never leave the answer.

    The golden rule: treat the “gatekeepers” with the same respect as decision makers.

    When secretaries filter calls addressed to their bosses, they want to know who you are, why you are calling and whether the manager is waiting for this call. All these questions you must have answers ready. When the “gatekeepers” realize that you are focused on their immediate business problems, they become your allies. Please note that you need to immediately find out the name of the "gatekeeper." This is important because it shows respect. Do not forget to thank the secretaries for the advice, because they do not have to help you.

    Chapter 17. Do not let your campaign fade away.

    Remember: it takes at least 7-10 contacts to be in the field of view of your potential customer. Stop earlier - and all your efforts will be wasted. To avoid the role of a beggar, you should always have a strong business reason to call. I can say with confidence that one contact once a week or once every two weeks is enough.

    Organize a storage system. You should have as many customers as you can hold in memory at the same time.

    To show yourself at your best when someone calls you back, it is important to understand what a potential client is expecting from you at the moment. When you are called back, your answer should sound as if there was no break between the previous contact (email, call) and today.

    Assuming you contact the customer once every ten days, your campaign may last three to four months. Not having achieved any success at the end of this period, you need to look for it elsewhere. But do not delete this corporation from your list. If you are not given a clear rebuff, do not give up. It is very likely that this is just a matter of priorities.

    Part V. Promote the sales process

    Chapter 18. Make the first meeting impressive.

    You have decided to give it, because a potential client believes: you can solve his problem or help in achieving the desired business results. When you speak, they think about it.

    Avoid idle chatter. If you are trying to convince potential customers that your product is what they need, you are digging a hole for yourself.

    Discuss business results. When decision makers ask how you did it, speak briefly and convincingly.

    Your goal is to go straight to questions to find out as much as you can about your potential customer.

    Develop thoughtful ideas. Instead of trying to tell how ideal this solution is, position it as an opportunity that needs to be explored in more detail.

    Provide important information. After you share the information, start asking questions again.

    Well-planned, thought-provoking questions lead to strong relationships with corporate buyers - and ultimately to an increase in the number of contracts. By asking serious, customer-focused questions, you can:

    • demonstrate your positive intentions;
    • increase your credibility;
    • help customers think and evaluate the situation;
    • identify needs and work on them;
    • form the right decision.

    It is absolutely necessary to make a list of ten questions and take it with you to the meeting.

    Focus on the current situation of the client and compare it with the problems that you solve, or with the goals you are helping to achieve. Never ask for information that is easy to find in the public domain.

    Take hold of their problems. If you are really customer oriented, you should ask questions about what is wrong.

    Client's current situation

    When customers talk about their difficulties, show curiosity and learn about it as much as possible. In particular, find out why they consider voiced a problem.

    Study the impact on business. Ask questions that will cause the interviewee to study the implications of the methodology they are currently using.

    After you have studied the impact of difficulties on the business of your clients, it is time to determine the gain that they will receive from solving their problems.

    Good questions are the key to turning disappointed potential customers into active buyers who want to solve their problems.

    Chapter 19. Gain momentum and keep up the pace

    A conversation with a potential client does not begin at the moment when the representative of the company you are interested in picks up the phone, and not when you enter the office. The conversation begins when you develop a plan. You have to make a lot of mental effort before you can get to the meeting.

    When selling large companies need to move forward in stages. The first meeting can be considered successful only if you finish it with a specific result that will ensure progress in the relationship. Before you leave, schedule the next meeting to keep up the momentum. If this is not done, then it will be almost impossible to return - even if they like you.

    After the initial contact, due to lack of time, there are still more questions to be discussed. You will also need time to sort out the information received and come back with some ideas. You can offer to call or meet with their superiors, subordinates, technical experts, users or employees of the finance department. You should agree on a time to talk (meeting) with an industry specialist, technical expert, manager, or someone else from your company.

    Below are the steps to follow which will ensure the productivity of the first conversation with the client (remember that an effective transition is part of your plan):

    1. Start a conversation (5–10 minutes)
      • mutual presentation
      • confirm time and agenda
    2. Conduct dialogue (40–45 minutes)
      • create context (5 minutes)
      • go to questions
      • focus on business issues (35–40 minutes)
    3. Bring the process to a new stage (5–10 minutes)
      • sum up your understanding of the situation
      • suggest the next step

    The more you can do to ensure the correct course of your meeting, the better. The active position helps to eliminate problems and does not allow to waste time. Here are some more suggestions on how to make a meeting successful:

    • call to confirm the appointment;
    • send a tentative meeting plan;
    • Do not bring brochures to the meeting.

    When talking, sit back. This will help you to remain in the image of a consultant and will not allow you to start advertising your product.

    Chapter 20. Tune for Success

    When switching to a new technique, be indulgent to yourself. To really rethink your role as a seller, your offer and your customer, you will need time. Do not wait for ideal conditions to move forward, otherwise you will never make progress. If you consider everything you are doing as an experiment, you cannot fail.

    Save the best for later. Instead of getting a contract with the most needed client, call the less significant client for you. They are the safest place to practice, and this is exactly what you need right now.

    Keep learning.Sometimes what is effective for one person is completely different for another, so you need several different approaches. Always keep learning and developing.

    Use all available resources. There is no reason for you to do it alone. Involve others to find out exactly what benefits. Learn from professionals, use their knowledge.

    Take responsibility. If you blame others for your problems, you can never achieve anything. As soon as you touch on what interests them, the doors of the company will open for you.

    Play role-playing games, even if you hate them.The only way to get rid of errors is to rehearse the situation. Then you will not be embarrassed, talking with a client, and you can become much more successful.

    Conduct analysis of the conversation after each call. Effective sales is just a skill. When you focus on improving it, you improve.

    Competitors are able to quickly create identical products, but no one can be your copy and repeat your way of thinking. Your ability to provide a continuous stream of fresh ideas and information for corporate buyers will make you irresistible, valuable, and ultimately irreplaceable.

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