Are you a small entrepreneur wanting to sell to big companies?
Do you wonder how to get bigger, established companies to become your clients?
Having big companies as clients can have some amazing benefits.
Big companies tend to grant repeat business, and therefore stable cash-flow.
Your company will receive more credibility when people know you work with an established company.
You also get a sneak peek at how big companies operate. This insider information can help you grow and become better at what you do.
Working with bigger companies will give you another income stream and accelerate your growth.
With all these amazing advantages, you might be wondering: How do I compete with more established competitors?
It might seem daunting, thinking you have to compete with other, bigger companies who have been in the industry longer.
Over the past 15 years, I have sold to many large companies; often alone or as a small business. I usually started off as the “underdog”; the lesser known company in the industry.
I understand small entrepreneurs often don’t have the budget to set up an independent booth at trade shows, or the advantage of a large marketing department to create fancy promotional material and swag.
There are many things we have to do alone, without much support. But guess what? It IS possible for small businesses to get big clients! I have successfully done it, and so can you!
Today, I am going to share some of my essential strategies for selling to big companies as a small entrepreneur (also known as “B2B sales”).
Before diving into these strategies, let’s compare the differences between big clients and small clients.
BIG CLIENTS vs. SMALL CLIENTS
Selling to big companies involves different decision makers.
Selling to big companies is different from selling to smaller clients. The decision to buy from you could involve various people (the decision makers) across various departments or functions.
It is essential to understand the dynamics of these decision makers in order to successfully close the deal.
You are selling to a small group of people.
When selling to small clients, you have a bigger pool of potential clients available. When selling to bigger companies, you are selling to a smaller number of people. Think of the industry you are in: how many big companies are there? You will most likely not have more than 20 potential clients to sell to.
It is harder to find the real decision makers and get in front of them.
We talked about having multiple decision makers when selling to big companies. Depending on your industry, it could be more challenging to find the decision makers and get in front of them.
UNIQUE CHALLENGES FOR SMALL ENTREPRENEURS
As a small entrepreneur, you are also unique! You are not like big companies. You often have a smaller team or perhaps you’re even all by yourself.
Limited time and budget.
Since you don’t have a big team, you have limited time to get everything done. You also don’t have a huge sales & marketing budget to hire a professional to sell for you. When I attend industry trade shows, I often do not have a huge marketing budget to set up a fancy booth or hire people to support me. With a limited budget, I had to find unique ways to find my clients.
Being less known.
You might also be less known compared to your bigger and more established competitors.
With all these challenges, how do you successfully sell to big companies? Don’t despair! There’s good news for small entrepreneurs who want to sell to big companies!
I have seen many women successfully tap into B2B sales. Here are some of their unique advantages:
UNIQUE ADVANTAGES FOR SMALL ENTREPRENEURS
Small entrepreneurs are more nimble
You are the owner, therefore you can make quick decisions to get important clients. You can be more flexible with your pricing and customize your work based on the unique needs of your potential clients.
Many small entrepreneurs will offer quick turnaround to their big clients to get their foot in the door.
If your competitors are bigger and have more employees, they might not be able to offer personalized service to their clients. Some of your competitors may also face turnover problems, resulting in clients becoming tired of working with new people all the time. You, on the other hand, can provide personalized service to those big clients. You can show your clients you are not going anywhere. They can reach out to you anytime they want if there is an issue.
As a smaller business, you might have a lower overhead compared to your more established competitors. This lower overhead can be a unique advantage.
Let’s talk about some simple strategies you can use to sell to bigger companies…
Strategies for Selling to Big Companies as a Small Entrepreneur
Strategy 1: Keep it Simple
Small entrepreneurs have limited budgets and time, so it is especially important to keep your thoughts very focused on sales strategy. Since you do not have a large budget, keeping your sales strategy as simple as possible. This will save you money and result in a higher success rate.
When you are brainstorming sales strategies, keep in mind that you don’t have a lot of time. Ask yourself: Is this strategy simple to implement? Can I do it consistently for the next six months?
The answer is yes, focus on that one sales strategy and stay consistent.
Strategy 2: Focus on Building Relationships
We talked about how it can be difficult to find those decision makers or get in front of them. So when it comes to selling to big companies, building relationships and networking is essential.
Big clients are risk-averse and that’s why they prefer working with people through referrals. That’s why building a relationship is one of the most powerful strategies when selling to big companies.
Platforms such as LinkedIn can be powerful tools to help you find those decision makers and build relationships with people in the same industry.
Conduct LinkedIn research and start building relationships with others in the same industry.
Strategy 3: Sell More in Less Time
One of the biggest challenges I hear about from clients is not having enough time to sell.
As small entrepreneurs, we have to take care of many so aspects within our businesses. By the end of the day, we simply don’t have the time to build relationships to sell to big clients. However, to sell successfully, you need to stay consistent and MAKE the time to build those relationships.
So how do you find that time?
Over the years, I have created a “Sell More in Less Time” system that focuses on budgeting your time and batch selling.
Check out the “Sell More in Less Time” system to see exactly how I do it.
Strategy 4: Have a Sales Engagement Plan
Your big clients are busy and very distracted. So how do you get their attention?
Closing sales is like any other relationship. You need a plan to slowly build up that relationship. You need to find ways to keep them engaged and build trust.
Want to create your own sales engagement map? Create your own here.
Strategy 5: Research, Research, Research!
When selling to big companies, you will be faced with many different people involved in the overall process. It is often hard to know who is actually making those final important decisions. That’s why doing the research to find your decision makers can be very useful.
Strategy 6: The Power of Business Introduction
Big clients prefer working with people they know. That’s why business introductions can be one of the most powerful strategies in B2B sales.
When doing your research, don’t forget about the people who can refer you to those big decision makers. Some of these people include other freelancers/consultants targeting the same industry, or salespeople who have been in and around the industry for a long time.
Want to ask for a business introduction like a pro? Check out my blog here.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level and sell big? Let me know how it goes – I would love to hear about it!
Don’t forget: my Sales Academy has all the tools you need to sell better! Check it out now!
To your big sales,