The Big One
Sales is all about thinking big. Bigger clients lead to bigger profits which lead to bigger vacations, or so the logic goes, and a lot of the time that's true.
But rarely is it that easy. Big accounts are difficult to land, and even then, aren't necessarily a sure bet for big sales. In an economy where most businesses already operate on slim margins, that can spell trouble—time spent courting a large prospect that never pans out is money and resources lost. Or, as Gregg Emmer, chief marketing officer and vice president for Batavia, Ohio-based Kaeser & Blair Inc., put it: "Bigger isn't always better, unless you are talking about profit."
Still thinking big? We don't blame you. But don't go it alone—read on for six tips from Emmer and Diane Morsch, director of sales and marketing for Bristol ID Technologies, Lima, N.Y., for landing large accounts.
1. Avoid Long-Distance Relationships
Say you're located in California and a large, Florida-based prospect wants to meet within 24 hours. Do you have the resources to make that happen? If not, consider staying local. "Logistics play a significant part in success when going after mega-corporations," Emmer explained. "If you are not located conveniently to the headquarters' decision maker, you generally are out of luck. The largest of your competitors (international printing companies or top-20 promotional distributors) have budgets and other resources that allow them to go after business in far away places, something an independent or small business operator generally can't do."
Emmer advised creating a list of local companies and identifying the ones that offer the most direct access. "Work on the top two or three at a time," he suggested. "Once a prospect becomes a customer, continue to move down the list."
2. Don't Sell on Price