What would you pay to sit down for coffee with the Chief Procurement Officer of Coca Cola and learn about how they buy? If you’re trying to sell to Coca Cola, you’d probably pay a pretty penny. What would he likely tell you? “Be Different,” said Ken Carty in this 2010 article by Inc. Magazine. His other basic advice? Get in early. Do your homework. Follow the process. Want more insider info on how to sell to big corporations? Here are interviews with the purchasing departments of six mega corporations published by Inc. Magazine.
- How to Sell to UPS
- How to Sell to Intuit
- How to Sell to Valero Energy
- How to Sell to Northrop Grumman
- How to Sell to Dell
- How to Sell to The Bama Companies
Even if you’re not trying to sell into these mega-corporations, I highly recommend you read these reports. I’m compiling them all here for your ease of access. All companies are different, but some purchasing pearls of wisdom apply across the board.
We were recently at a client training talking about big purchasing goofs. An honest account manager stood up and told us about trying to sell to DHL. When the DHL team came to visit the office, the firs thing they saw was a stack of FedEx boxes on the receptionist’s desk. He said they immediately turned around and walked out. Big oops! That’s the advice in the UPS article. Know the likes and dislikes of the company you’re trying to sell. Think through every step.
Another point that The Whale Hunters stress is to look at your own company through a buyer’s eyes. Paula Marshall, CEO of The Bama Companies, advises small businesses to have a good website. She explains that an unprofessional website can leave a bad first impression. And we all know you never get a second chance…you get the idea.
In order to sell to Valero, they like to see you’ve done your research. If you’ve completed the scouting phase of whale hunting, this won’t be a problem. We teach companies how to thoroughly research their prospects before even starting a big pitch. Otherwise, you may miss the minimum requirements Valero has for all vendors regardless of size.
I’ve tried to pull some main points for you here, but I encourage you to read all the articles.