Selling to Big Companies
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Setting up meetings with corporate decision makers has never been harder. It's almost impossible to get them to pick up the phone. They never return your calls. And if you do happen to catch them, they blow you off right away.
It's time to stop making endless cold calls or waiting for the phone to ring. In today's crazy marketplace, new sales strategies are needed to penetrate these big accounts.
Discover how to:
• Target accounts where you have the highest likelihood of success.
• Find the names of prospects who can use your offering.
• Create breakthough value propositions that capture their attention.
• Develop an effective, multi-faceted account-entry campaign.
• Overcome obstacles and objections that derail your sale efforts.
• Position yourself as an invaluable resource, not a product pusher.
• Have powerful initial sales meetings that build unstoppable momentum.
• Differentiate yourself from other sellers.
Use these sure-fire strategies to crack into big accounts, shrink your sales cycle and close more business. Check out the Account Entry Toolkit for ideas on how to apply this process to your own unique business.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #10109 in Books
- Published on: 2005-12-01
- Released on: 2005-12-01
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: .61" h x 6.10" w x 9.06" l, .79 pounds
- Binding: Paperback
- 272 pages
"Jill Konrath offers refreshing insights on how to approach big companies, engage their busy executives, uncover what makes a difference and create substantial value. This book takes the mystery out of selling to these corporate behemoths. Read it to shorten your sales cycle and avoid the many traps that can derail your sales efforts.""—Gerhard Gschwandtner, Founder and Publisher, Selling Power
"Selling to big companies takes big ideas, and big thinking. Jill Konrath's book will provide you with both—so that you can go out to the big boss of the big company and come back with the big order. This book will help you—BIG time.""—Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Little Red Book of Selling
"This is some of the best advice I have heard.""—Jack Covert, 800-CEO-READ
"Keen insights into crafting powerful value proposition and enticing sales messaging that will immediately differentiate you from other sellers.""—Lynnette S. Zika, Executive Vice President, National Marketing, RSM McGladrey, Inc.
"After reading this book, I landed an appointment at a Fortune 50 company that had eluded me for six months.""—Eric Albertson, Partner, Massini Group
"Stop fishing in small ponds with the wrong bait. If you're ready to net bigger clients, Jill Konrath provides a straightforward, easy-to-follow approach in Selling to Big Companies. You discover what lures those prestigious, profitable corporations and how to reel them in. And best of all, you're guaranteed to land a big one!""—Jay Conrad Levinson, author of the ""Guerrilla Marketing"" series of books
About the Author
Jill Konrath is an expert in complex sales strategies. Her web site www.sellingtobigcompanies.com is a popular resource for sellers seeking contracts in the corporate market. She publishes one of the industry's top sales blogs, as well as a newsletter with thousands of subscribers around the world. An in-demand speaker and workshop presenter, Jill is frequently quoted in news media nationwide.
Most helpful customer reviews
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful.
Actually, her advice applies to almost every sales situation
By Robert Morris
Frankly, I began to read this book with some skepticism because I had already read dozens (hundreds?) of books about sales - including Anthony Parinello's Selling to VITO and Getting to VITO - and doubted that there would be much (if anything) left for Jill Konrath to discuss. I soon realized that I was wrong. True, Konrath offers few head-snapping revelations but her extensive personal experience (especially with rejection and failure) is rigorously examined, her advice is eminently practical, and the material is rock-solid, enhanced by the direct and conversational rapport she immediately establishes and then sustains with her reader. So many books about sales resemble a series of formal presentations at a conference or lectures by a business school professor. Not so with Konrath who understands that competition (with one's self as well as with others) is "the name of the game" in the business world, and, success there can be achieved only in the "trenches" of thorough preparation and styrategic (but prudent) persistence.
Appropriately, in Part One, she first explains what is required of those who attempt to sell to "big(ger)" companies. There are many challenges to avoid or overcome, several the result of misconceptions which Konrath summarily repudiates. This is a uniquely valuable section of the book because it makes crystal clear what experienced salespersons must "un-learn" about what they have assumed to be true thus far, and by doing so, Konrath makes it crystal clear to others what simply doesn't work...and why. Those in the latter group will probably find it easier to apply her advice which is at all times practical...and immediately actionable.
In Part Two, Konrath explains how to "build a foundation" for what eventually should become a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective system for effective preparation, cultivation, and solicitation. What she is talking about really is a high-stakes "game" played against formidable opponents according to rules which can sometimes change suddenly. Some of the most important material in this Part focuses on the imperative need for a strong value proposition. There's good news and there's bad news. First the bad news: Most value propositions are weak. Now the good news: Most value propositions are weak. Her explanation of how to formulate and then leverage a strong value proposition, all by itself, is well worth ten (or 100) times the cost of the book.
With all necessary preparations thoroughly explained and illustrated (i.e. what's true and what isn't, what works and what doesn't), Konrath shifts her attention to "launching the campaign" in Part Three. Once again, there is a step-by-step process involved: Identify key decision-makers, Stop waiting for them to call back, Create enticing voice mail messages, Leverage e-mail strategies to get in, etc.
What about barriers and how to overcome them? Konrath explains "how to become irresistible to decision-makers" by overcoming obstacles and eliminating objections in Part Four. In Chapter 18, for example, she explains how not to treat a gate keeper who can then become an ally, a "gate opener."
How to accelerate the sales process? This question raises immensely complicated issues because decision-makers have too much to do, not enough time, and are under great pressure to add value to their company by eliminating waste, lowering operating costs, increasing productivity, solving various problems, filling various needs, etc. Although decision-makers are indeed hurried and harried, they will strongly resent being "pushed" by overly aggressive salespeople. What to do to "advance the sale"...and what not to do? Konrath addresses those and other important issues in Part Five.
I especially appreciate Konrath's use of various reader-friendly devices, such as a "Key Points" section with which she concludes each of the 22 chapters. These devices will facilitate, indeed accelerate a periodic review of her core concepts as well as her admonitions and commendations. (Often, her advice as to what not to do is more valuable than is her advice as to what to do.) I also appreciate the nine "tools" which she provides in Appendix A. It would be a fool's errand to read any one book -- including this none -- and then immediately (and mindlessly) adopt and apply all of its author's ideas. Think in terms of having a tool box into which you place those tools which you have carefully selected from a variety of different sources. I certainly recommend Konrath's "tools" (including the nine in Appendix A) but also Neil Rackham's concerning SPIN Selling questions and what Jacques Werth has learned about perfecting closing skills and then using them to pre-qualify prospects. The point is, learn all you can about all of the salesmanship "tools" which are now available but use only those which are most appropriate to your needs, and, only those which work best together in combination.
Earlier, I did not damn with faint praise when suggesting that there are few (if any) head-snapping revelations in this book, nor does does Konrath claim that she offers any. Some readers (probably experienced salespeople) may be surprised to learn that some of their cherished ideas about selling are either wrong or no longer sound. What gives Konrath credibility and what makes her material so valuable is the fact that, as she frankly admits, she once had all manner of misconceptions about selling and, because of them, probably made every wrong decision and every mistake possible. She acknowledges the difficulty of re-thinking what to do and how to do it. She has also learned a great deal from those enrolled in her sales training programs. (The best teachers always learn at least as much as their students whereas the worst teachers never seem to learn anything, nor do their students.) In this book, Konrath shares what she thinks is most important and urges her reader to remember what is most important. She concludes with this advice:
"Finally, realize that you are the biggest differentiator of all. Become an expert. Know your customer's business, processes, and marketplace trends as well as they do. Deepen your knowledge of your product line, capabilities, and total solution capacity. Constantly be thinking about how you can help your customers improve their operations and reach their goals. Competitors can create copycat products and services overnight, but no one can replicate you and your brain. Your ability to provide a continuous stream of fresh ideas, insights, and information to corporate buyers will make you irresistible, invaluable, and ultimately, indispensable."
For many readers, the same will be true of Jill Konrath after they read her book.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful.
Valuable info on how to catch big fish
By Philip Hamilton
Thesis: You can achieve your goal of selling to big companies by first deconstructing why you've failed before, then creating a new game plan to forge new territory by breaking down old barriers on your way to victory.
Structure: 22 chapters spread over five parts of the book; two appendices also included. Each chapter ends with a bulleted list of key points to reinforce the most important aspects of the material.
I found the following especially helpful:
Understand Corporate Decision Makers (Ch. 3, pp. 19-27)
Understanding your prospect's world is essential, right? And so it is with selling to big companies. Jill explains very clearly the firefighting world that corporate decision makers live in and what this means for your approach. One specific insight I found very enlightening was that corporate decision makers "haven't got time for the pain" (p. 22) of taking the time for building rapport as we'd often like.
Is Your Value Proposition Strong Enough? How to Strengthen Your Value Proposition (Ch. 6 and 7, pp. 51-61 and 63-73)
In these chapters, Jill shows you how to form a strong value proposition that prospects will find irresistible. She points out the epidemic of weak value propositions (pp. 53-55) and informs you that it's essential to describe tangible, measurable business outcomes and acknowledge opportunity costs. Chapter Seven shows you how to identify and increase the power of your value proposition (p. 64), how to address a lack of metrics (p. 68), and how to test effectively (p. 72).
Break Through the Barriers (Part Four, Ch. 16-19)
Part Four focuses on breaking through the barriers of corporate sales. You'll learn practical tactical ideas for your call (p. 163) and how to stay persisitent in the face of your prospects' brush-offs (p. 177). Jill also gives you invaluable instructions on how not to treat gatekeepers (p. 186) and how to maintain your contact without sounds desparate (p. 193).
While those who sell only to small companies will find a lot of useful information here, I consider the book almost a necessity for those wanting to land large companies as clients.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful.
Whether you sell to big companies or small companies, this book is a powerful tool
By Dave Lakhani
I read this book twice already and each time I got new ideas for more deeply connecting with buyers and decision makers.
Also, the title is a little deceptive, these techniques will work equally well with small companies, so no matter who you sell to, you should own this book.
One of the most important ideas I got out of the book was how to actually open doors at large companies. While many feel that companies are giant faceless organizations with layers behind which buyers hide, the book shows you how to connect with the real people who are deciding and buying.
I honestly believe that anyone reading this book will reduce their sales cycles significantly and they'll create more new opportunities than they ever have before.
This book is a must read for any serious salesperson who wants to increase their selling ability . . . fast!