“When you go fishing, you can catch a lot of fish or you can catch a big fish. You ever walk into a guy’s den and see a picture of him standing next to 14 trout?”
“No, he’s holding a 3,000-pound marlin.”
That’s from a conversation from the film The Social Network, the newfangled emblem for small businesses who want to conquer the big ocean. Marketers have always viewed large companies as like the Holy Grail, and they’ve been trying to crack the code to once and for all break through their walls. There are several reasons why enterprise sellers target them:
- They pay easy because they have the money
- One sale with them can double, even triple your regular revenue
- Big companies have numerous areas you can profit from
- More opportunities with referrals (CEOs like to hang out with each other)
But there’s an accompanying fear that comes with shooting for large companies. They either get too intimidated or perhaps they just don’t understand the difference in marketing between average companies and the “big guys”.
If you have a “hit list” of large companies, here’s how you can gain access to their world:
Know your target. You’re about to infiltrate a territory full of discerning (and sometimes suspicious) big shots and the least that you can do is learn about them. Investigate about what they do and how they do it. Look at their current contracts and identify the reasons why they stick with them.
Pull of an “inside job”. Considering that large companies usually have multiple decision-makers, you can start by attracting just one of them and “train” that person to do your job for you. He must be so convinced by your products that he’d be the one to develop excitement among his colleagues and even handle objections whenever necessary. Channel all your efforts on one person first, and then allow him to carry on.
Talk about their competition. You can strike a big shot’s chord whenever you mention things about their rival companies. Why? Because big companies are reactive; they like to hear what others are or are not doing, so they could base their decisions on others’ mistakes or success.
Emphasize ROI. The big guys always want the bottom line. Unlike SMBs who only focus on features, efficiency and the “cool” factor, large companies focus on what they would get in return – if the investment is worth it.
Be patient. In dealing with large companies, the sales cycle is different – it’s more lengthy, more energy-consuming and sometimes it can give you false hopes. You have to go through several processes and talk to different people until you finally hear some good news. But even if it gives you all the reasons to give up, don’t. Once you’ve hit the jackpot, you’d probably forget about all the hard work anyway – while basking in your big-time lead.