Thursday, March 12, 2009

Selling to Enterprise

My column this week in the Financial Post looks at the fine art of selling to big business.

It’s based on a Direct Engagement panel I took part in, along with Ontario’s minister for small business, Harinder Takhar, and two ambitious entrepreneurs.

Excerpt: “My key message was that selling to big businesses requires the dreaded Three Ps: preparation, process and patience. You need to understand your customers' needs - in terms of product, service, logistics and reassurances - long before you make your first sales call.”
Panelist Tony Lacavera of Globalive Communications noted that most businesses are innately nervous about entrusting major contracts to unknown companies. He suggested entrepreneurs reduce the buyer's risk by initially asking for just a fraction of the available business - say, 2% or 5%. "Downsize your proposal, but not your ambition," he said. "Get in and do a great job with a small piece [of the business]. Do whatever you can to make the buyer look good internally."

You can read the full story here.

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