Look Like a Hero
When I bought services for Pepsi, Pizza Hut and Frito Lay for 18 years, that’s all I ever wanted. I wanted to be the one to bring an innovation, a cost saving, a unique new methodology to do something we already did, you name it. I wanted to look like the hero of my department and of the company. As a vendor, if you can position your offer as something that will help the buyer achieve this, you’re in!
To Reduce The Risk
Research says that almost 50% of buyers decline to buy something because they’re afraid of losing face or even their job. The larger the buy, the larger the risk. To reduce the risk, you have to increase the trust factor. And in order to do that, you have to become an established expert in solving the problem they’re talking to you about. In today’s world, trust is achieved through visibility and content. Both are done mostly online. So if you don’t have a good communication and content strategy together, you can’t get into buyer meetings.
Someone Who Understands Their Pain
I often talk about the infamous 3-hour vendor presentation I attended as a marketing manager. I joke that I almost gave birth (at 9 months’ pregnancy!) during the meeting because they never once talked about my brand’s issues or even once said my brand’s name. It was during that critical meeting that I made the decision to launch a business teaching clueless vendors what is important to buyers. Here’s a cruel truth: corporate buyers don’t care about you. They want you to deeply know and solve their pain. Period.
Corporations want boring repeat acts. They want safety. They want comfort. What gives them the certainty that you can do it for them, is if you’ve solved the same problem for someone else in their world. Namely, in their industry. If you don’t specialize in an industry, interest group or a pain point, you become risky. Almost every client who now hires me wants to know that I’ve worked with someone in their industry. Doesn’t it make sense to become a specialist?
To Pursue a Vendor
Corporate buyers are sick to death of vendors running after them. They have had enough of being pitched and targeted and sold to. Instead, they are interested in finding a gem of a solution on their own. Through their world, they can catch a podcast or a speaker they want to pursue. They can see a video or catch the article of someone who writes about a solution they need. You see, buyers want to be the pursuer for a change. Isn’t that a twist?
If you’ve found yourself striking out with corporate buyers, try these suggestions and see if you can get in the door and dazzle them by taking to them about THEM and not yourself.