How Does Globalization Affect Your Sale?
Large corporations have gone global. In fact, it seems as thought they are always restructuring, reorganizing, or rightsizing. This constant flux has created overworked, frazzled employees wanting or needing no more change.
Corporate leaders continue to increase communications, learn, guard their time, and avert disruption to their congested calendars.
Barraged by everyday marketing attacks, corporate prospects have grown resistant to the smallest amount of self-promotion by salespeople. Get used to it, it’s not going away any too soon.
Those of us calling on large corporations have learned that it’s become more difficult for us to:
Figure out where buying is being made and who’s involved in the process;
Convince harried customers to meet with us.
Distinguish our service from the competition while maintaining a reasonable profit margin trying to exceed expectations; and creating a situation so prospects will want to work with us.
So to be successful in this dizzying sales setting, we need to continually review our strategies.
Listen to your current customers
Do your current customers have any similarities in how you brought them in? Then ask yourself:
Did you identify a specific type of opportunity? If so, what was it?
Did you have a particular product or service that attracted the prospect? If so, what value did it provide?
Did they choose your services because their former supplier couldn’t handle their needs? If so, what were the gaps?
I remember when I first started my company in the early ‘80’s. We were willing to take on any project to fund growth. So today, in this terribly difficult sales environment I looked at the company’s past success and learned that our best strategy was product launches. One of my best clients started out as a $20,000 launch project and grew to over $350,000 in revenue in just a couple of years. It makes sense then to focus our marketing and sales efforts on product or service introductions despite the fact that with all the experience we’ve had we could take on a myriad of projects and do them all well. But being focused on what we are exceptional at is a safe bet in today’s market.
Looking at the White Space Helps
I urge you to take a studied look at your competition. They no doubt all have some limitations; no company can do it all. Look for the gaps in their offerings and take advantage of them. Don’t go nose-to-nose with existing competition. Instead, look for what they are missing. When I started working with product-launches, I never actually competed against any of the bigger training firms because the work I was doing was too customized.
Crumbs are Good Too
If you want to get into a big company be open to take whatever project may be available —even if it wouldn’t be your preference. My first project in a large corporation had little to do with my past proficiency. I helped create an audio training program for telesales reps, which included writing the workbooks, tape scripts, packaging, design, etc. as well as the internal documentation to “sell” their senior sales management on the concept and rationale. In the end, they became my best client, bringing us an average of $75,000 to $100,000 annually.
A few take-away thoughts:
Major corporations seem to always need external resources that can bring them new perspectives and great value.
Working with larger companies can supply your business with the potential for significant growth and cash flow. Getting that first contract can prove challenging, but the second and third can come quickly with much less effort.
But be aware that losing a contract with a major account can cripple your finances if you’re not diversified enough. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!
It is easier to get into the bigger companies if you take small “bites;” seek out opportunities within service areas or departments within divisions for easier account penetration.
Do your homework and determine which part of your offering responds to your prospect’s critical or gripping needs and leverage that angle to get your foot in the door.
Have patience – there are many more hurdles to the contract in a large company – many more signatures – their reputation is on the line. We have to make buying from us as easy as possible – break projects into pieces – “you eat an elephant one bite at a time.”