A book published in 2006 by author Jill Konrath titled Selling to Big Companies is the latest business and marketing book I've read. It was really like reading a book of affirmations because the author's entire sales process is exactly the way I've been selling and marketing for over 25 years.
The author is hailed as an expert in complex sales strategies and has become a sales trainer and expert to selling to the big corporate accounts. As with many of the sales advice books I've read over the years, her tips and tricks are more like common sense. I find it so hard to believe that some people don't do some of the items she mentions.
Take for example - she recommends to concentrate on the customer and the customer needs and looking for a good fit in being able to offer solutions. The author states many times that a sales person should NOT make sales meetings all about them or their company or product - make it and keep it customer centered.
Show your value - show your worth - demonstrate your ability to make a difference - but keep it all customer centered. Don't waste the client's time - don't spend too much time trying to build a friend-to-friend relationship by asking about vacations or family, etc - don't wing it.
Konrath provides insightful ways to script cold calls and then suggests memorizing and practicing the script but don't use it when actually making the calls. She also gives advice on creating effective sales letters, sales e-mails and other types of correspondence.
This is one of the first books suggesting that some of the organizations floating around out there may not be the best place to network when prospecting for the big companies. If you want to network, go to the community events, functions and organizations where the big company decision-makers go.
The book is well written - a fast read - and will make a good desk reference book when writing those e-mail blast messages. Which by the way the author suggests that you take the time to individualize each e-mail in a campaign instead of sending a generic e-mail.
Konrath suggests that many big client decision-makers may answer an e-mail faster than returning a cold phone call. I agree and I've seen this happen first hand. I've sent e-mails to big company decision-makers and have gotten positive responses as well as sales resulting from a cold e-mail.
Again, this book really enforces some common sense sales techniques with a splash or two new ideas on relationship building, networking and e-mailing. It is worth writing about today and is worth reading.