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January 6, 2006

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects: Selling to Big Companies

By: Jack @ 4:00 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath, Kaplan Publishing, 256 Pages, $15.95 Paperback, December 2005, ISBN 1419515624
When I first started 8cr, over twenty years ago, life was quite different. I bet you haven't heard that from an old guy before. More than a few booksellers have asked me to explain how we became successful. I always answer by saying I have no clue how to repeat what I did 20 plus years ago in today's world. The reason my steps cannot be repeated is well-documented in this book.
Back when I started, I would call a company's main phone number. A knowledgeable receptionist would answer and give me an idea of whether the company would be interested in what I had to offer--namely, books. Now, no one answers their phone, except me, and few return calls. Jill Konrath acknowledges these issues and provides great advice on how overcome these issues. She documents the advantages and disadvantages of having a few big clients. Yes, there are disadvantages.
She breaks down the process of connecting and selling to big clients into manageable chunks. For example, the book has five main parts:
  1. Accept the challenge
  2. Build the foundation
  3. Launch the campaign
  4. Break through the barriers
  5. Advance the sale.
Within each part she has oodles of subheadings. For example, in part one under "Understand Corporate Decision Makers" is a subheading called "Mistakes You Don't Want to Make". Beneath that subheading is this list:
Don't waste their time

Don't try to be their friend

Don't expect them to tell you about their business

Don't give them a product dump

Don't use any self-serving verbiage

Don't expect them to intuit the value of your offering

How is that for concise advice? This is some of the best advice I have heard. Beyond the explanation paragraphs found under each sub point, the book also contains a resourceful appendix. For example, there is a "voice mail script template" and "the voice mail evaluator."
If you know you are missing an opportunity with a mega business, this is the book for you.
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