I recently wrote a guest blog post on CNBC describing how smaller firms can outsell their larger competition. Here’s the full post on CNBC, but the ideas are so essential to this column, that I figured it only makes sense to post a summary in Sales Source. Here’s the short version:
1. Differentiate yourself and your firm. Your product must be higher quality, easier to use, more convenient to buy, or a better fit than the competition’s.
2. Treat your weaknesses as strengths. Your firm might have higher prices (a weakness) but you’re willing to craft flexible terms (a strength.)
3. Exhibit extreme confidence. Convince yourself (and thence the customer) that a customer would be foolish or crazy to buy from anyone else.
4. Don’t be afraid to bail. If you can’t meet with the real decision-maker, you aren’t going to get the business, so move on.
5. Be your company’s brand. When you’re selling for a small firm, the “brand” consists of your appearance, your voice, and your abilities. Don’t take risks with any of those.
6. Sell like the entrepreneur you are. Don't get all "big company" when it comes to selling. Constantly find creative ways to get things done more quickly and easily.
7. No free consulting. If a customer asks for a proposal, for instance, insist that you’ll only write one if you’re guaranteed a meeting with the CEO.
8. Have a low “no” threshold. Maybe a larger competitor can afford to kowtow, but you don’t have the luxury of wasting time and truckling.
9. Be your firm’s greatest strength. If you can truly add value, you’re the most valuable person that CEO will meet with that day, month, or year.
10. Take responsibility for your skills. It’s up to you to constantly hone your sales skills, learn new sales techniques, and develop your sales career.
Readers: Any other strategies that ought to be included? I’m figure that plenty of you guys have plenty of real-world experience beating up the behemoths.