Selling to the big guys

By Noor Abdel-Raziq, Altitude Accelerator Communications Intern

Audrey Hepburn once said, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” If you’re thinking that it’s impossible to get your product on the shelves of large companies, think again, nothing is impossible. To help you succeed, here are 5 tips to consider when selling your product to large corporations:

Selling to the big guys

1. Talking To The Right Person(s)

Getting in contact with the CEO of a large corporation is a dream for any start-up, but at the same time very difficult. For starters, you should find and contact individuals who have direct influence on what products are purchased by the company—could be a senior developer or manager. These individuals don’t have the power a CEO does, but they can help you close a deal. 

2. Pain point

Discover the company’s pain points, or the problems that need solutions. To do this, you need to conduct in-depth research on the company well before your sales pitch. By doing so, you can narrow your sales pitch to address this pain point, making your pitch precise, effective, and relevant.

3. Validation

Large corporations will want to know if your startup can survive in the market—helping them determine if you are worth the investment. When they look for validation, you need to make it easy for them to do so.

How do you do this?

Show them your market research (validation for demand), show them realistic and valid numbers (financials), and show them your team (they are not only investing in your solution, they are also investing in you).

4. Elevator Pitch

Elevator pitches are about pitching what is important. If you have the right pain point, an elevator pitch should be easy to create. Your pitch should be straight-forward, easy to understand, and address the company’s real-time problems.

Pitch what’s important to them—not what’s important to you— give them the answer to “Why should we buy from you?” and address certain concerns you think they may have.

5. Be Patient

As an entrepreneur, time is your worst enemy. You want something done and you want it fast. But, with large companies, landing and closing a deal will take time, so be patient.

Be prepared to contact a corporate decision maker or influencer several times—10-14 times— before you scratch them off your contact list. At the same time, don’t sit and wait for one person to respond, be sure to contact more than one person and company, follow any leads or connections you may have, and be convincing in your approach.

It’s going to take a lot of work, sweat, and maybe tears to land a deal with a large company, but be confident in your ability to make it through. Don’t shy away from networking and connecting with the right people, do your research, validate your product, prepare a quick pitch, and give yourself time.

You can gain a better understanding of how large companies make purchasing decisions by attending our “Purchasing Made Practical: How to Sell to Large Companies” event on September 23 and registering at http://purchasingmadepractical.eventbrite.ca/

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