After finishing up with my old Government Days and later leaving the Laboratory as an R&D Chemist – I had a massive big break and at the same company I worked at. They gave me a totally awesome job as a Technical Representative.
I was dealing with massive clients such as Amcor, Boeing, Ansett (Yes, I am getting OLD), Qantas and also the Royal Australian Airforce. My early 20’s were my Milk & Honey days and I totally loved it.
It was also very challenging as well in really learning how to sell to Corporates!
The Awesome Lucy Milekovic actually asked me about this topic in an email, so I thought I would write a fine article on it. This is dedicated to her, an awesome Bookkeeping Business Owner based in the Sutherland Shire Region (South of Sydney).
I get this question from quite a few of my clients and whenever I think of the topic, it takes me straight back to my early Corporate / Technical Selling days before I went into full time Corporate Marketing Roles. Corporates (especially from larger companies) all have their own quirks and there is clearly a different style of selling to them, than say a Small Business Owner / Entrepreneur.
Martha Arifin and I were discussing this topic actually when we were booking our Awesome Business Boot Camp. We checked out the Novotel and then the Pullman Hotel for our venue. Novotel and Pullman Hotel are of similar star ratings, but the Pullman is a complete Corporate Experience. There were quite a few Corporates there and we started comparing say two characters:
– A $250 K / Year Corporate Vs A $250 K / Year Entrepreneur!
Two totally different characters and one is probably more about Ideas, Creativity and Flexibility – compared to the Corporate who would be about Management, Process and Approach. Considering this awesome conversation and my own experiences, here are my own Personal Top 10 x Tips for Cracking Corporates:
1) Always Consider the Person: Good to know say DISC or PeopleSmart so you can pick styles and adapt.
2) Clear Outcome: Be very direct and cut to the chase very quickly.
3) Caution on Chit-Chat: This changes later on, but in the boardroom watch this one. It can kill your deal if they think you are too interested in stuff outside of business.
4) Answer Questions Straight Up: Same as Entrepreneurs too, just cut to the chase.
5) Concise Answers: Don’t fluff about.
6) Tonality: Keep a Professional, Assertive Tonality.
7) Disarming Lines: If they challenge / push you around, make sure you become an equal quite quickly and disarm them. Otherwise they will ride you like a cute pony! Do it nicely though.
8) Smile & Positivity: Many Corporate Employees are nice people, but are stressed out. Try and be their “Outlet” that they can trust.
9) Listen & Take Notes: Physically take notes and get all the details.
10) Don’t Push for the Sale: By all means ask for it, but if you have to provide more information – then all good! Make sure you lock in your next appointment time then, or at least via email.
I hope those tips help and quite a few obviously overlap with Entrepreneurs too. Like all things, these are general tips and make sure you adapt to who you are speaking too. Quite often in younger Corporates (e.g. Microsoft, Google, Samsung etc) you have Entrepreneur Characters in high-end Management roles – so in selling NEVER ONE SIZE FITS ALL.
If someone wants to talk socially, then talk socially – if someone wants to cut to the chase, then let the chase be cut ASAP!
Hope you enjoy the read, good luck to Lucy Milekovic with her selling next week and have an awesome day or night everyone!
Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and Former Corporate Nut Cracker x x