Scoring a deal with a Fortune 500 company is obviously a huge deal; not only is it likely to mean a larger payout for your business, it also helps other potential clients see you in a positive light. Because of this, it’s natural to feel a little more on edge when pitching your products. Clearly, these are not your average prospects and therefore you’ll need to tweak your approach in order to have any hope of engaging them – in this article we’ll talk a look at five of the most important steps in doing so.
Step 1: Target the Right Person
Your first challenge when embarking on a sales journey with a Fortune 500 client is getting the chance to speak with the right person. Without doing so, you’re likely to end up coming up against secretaries or numerous other employees who actually have no power to make buying decisions.
Using a reputable company contact directory such as Global Database can come in very handy here; you’ll have access to direct contact details for CEOs and other high level executives, enabling you to reach out straight away without the worry of gatekeepers. The Global Database platform also has the added bonus of a high number of filter options, so if you don’t have a specific company in mind you’re able to find decision makers based on things like industry, company revenue, number of employees, technology use, and more.
Once you’ve got the contact details for the exact person you need, you can then personalise your approach in order to better engage that specific person, based on their pain points and how they are in general as a professional.
Step 2: Stand out from the Crowd
Bear in mind that all Fortune 500 companies see an unrelenting stream of sales pitches every month, whether it be via email or in person. Getting the opportunity to tell them more about your product or service is only half the battle; if your pitch isn’t engaging they’re likely to switch off and you’ll instantly become forgettable.
In order to make yourself stand out from the competition, be sure to find ways to be a little more creative and engaging. Where possible, it can also be a good tactic to help the prospect out by providing value to them using things like market insights, potential savings in their own company, or referrals. These don’t necessarily have to be in relation to what you’re offering them, because ultimately it will make your company seem more attractive to do business with.
Step 3: Show Your Expertise
While startups and SMEs may be happy to use the services of newly-established or lesser-known brands, Fortune 500 companies are much more focused on working with those that are experts in their niche. In order to position yourself as an authority in your industry you should put time and effort into both building up your team’s knowledge base, and also getting your brand name out there.
Ensure that you have plenty of interesting and useful content on your website, host webinars, publish articles in respected publications and build connections with influencers in the industry. These companies aren’t worried about discounts; they just want the best people for the job, so avoid cutting corners and focus instead on demonstrating that your product or service can deliver exactly what they need.
Step 4: Gain Their Trust
Just because Fortune 500 companies are happy to pay more than smaller companies, doesn’t mean they’re not risk-aware. On the contrary, these companies (and their employees) are usually much more concerned about any potential sign of weakness while committing to a deal.
Executives employed by these companies have worked hard to get where they are, so they’re very unlikely to put their job on the line for a risky product. Remember this when pitching; you’re not dealing with startups who are able to be a bit more experimental in their choices; instead it’s vital that you show the prospect that your product and your company are watertight.
Do this by offering testimonials from previous customers (particularly well-known companies), reviews, details of any awards or accolades you’ve received, and any mentions in the press. Reassure them by explaining exactly what your product can help them achieve, and has helped similar companies achieve, and consider adding in a money-back clause if appropriate.
Step 5: Be Patient
Be prepared for a long drawn-out process when dealing with Fortune 500 companies. Unlike their smaller counterparts, companies of this size have numerous procedures and meetings before a final decision can be made either way, so it can very easily end up taking twice as long as the usual deal.
Though it may be frustrating, you’ve got to go into any pitch expecting the long haul. By all means follow up now and again, but don’t hassle the prospect or you’ll just end up looking desperate, and as soon as the executives of a large company see that you’re reliant on them you lose all of the power and possibly their respect. Use this time to focus on the other smaller deals that will keep your business ticking over, and also to make sure you have plenty of content on your website that the prospect can refer to when they inevitably start to research your company on their own initiative.