Making it Big
The new year can represent a clean slate or a do-over of sorts. Ambitious resolutions are made—the kind that involve treadmills and self-reflection. The success rate is uncertain. Some will shed those pesky pounds or "frenemies." Others will suffer a fate that includes abandoned exercise equipment or negative interactions.
In business, the new year hopefully translates to increased sales and opportunities. Many have their eyes set on finally landing that big account. However, proceed with caution. Before you go big, brush up on the basics so you're not left with "what-ifs" and zero profit.
Print+Promo wants you to reach your goals, so we turned to the experts. Below, they impart strategies for approaching large prospects, along with lessons learned. Grab your pen and paper and practice your listening skills.
"My advice to a novice in the industry looking to get their foot in the door of a big account is: Don't. At Proforma we teach 'comfort-zone selling.' We believe you can only successfully sell to sizes and types of companies in your comfort zone. When you are new, you are still learning about the suppliers, the products and the industry. We call this the 'earning while you are learning' phase. It's much better to earn while you learn, cutting your teeth on smaller accounts and your family, friends and network. As your knowledge of the industry grows, your comfort zone will expand and you will know when you are ready to call on big accounts."
– Greg Muzzillo, founder, Proforma, Cleveland
"I wish someone would have told me several things [when I started out]: First, you have value and that value needs to be understood by you first and then articulated out to your clients. Additionally, every time you read, attend a show, advance one more year in the business [or] take a seminar, your value increases and [you] should get paid for your knowledge, innovation and creativity. Second, never lead with product, and always lead with innovation and creativity. Do this by demonstrating by doing and not just saying. Third, ask questions—great questions—and listen, truly listen and not just hear ... there is a difference. Fourth, focus on the needs of the client first. Commissions will be there."