How to Approach Companies for Business

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A business woman is on the phone.
A business woman is on the phone. (Image: View Stock/View Stock/Getty Images)

Selling your products or services to a company requires using a variety of tactics that convince prospects you have an answer to their business problems. Whether your ideal client is a Fortune 500 company or a mom-and-pop shop, your approach needs to appeal to decision makers who can give the green light to buy your products or services.

Know Your Market

Before you determine which direction to point your marketing efforts, learn everything you can about your potential client. If you already have clients, look for similarities, such as common problems, type of industry, location and size as well as the decision maker’s title or role at the business. Review the company's needs for the types of products or services you sell. Find out how the company learn about new products and services, such as via the Internet or through more traditional marketing tactics.

Seek Introductions

One of the most powerful ways to sell to a company is to approach a specific person who expects your call. Getting business this way requires some footwork before you ever make the call. Start by looking through your contacts and networks to find someone who can introduce you to the decision maker. Email or call that person to ask if he is willing to put in a good word for you. Once that person has smoothed your way, mention his name when you make your sales call to remind the prospect of the connection. Leave a similar message if you get voice mail, and explain that your mutual acquaintance thought you two should talk.

Sales Calls With Value

Making sales calls is challenging, especially if you’re not a born salesman. Instead of the typical sales script, find a way to offer prospective companies some value. For instance, if you sell merchandising services to retailers, take a survey to find out how retailers are handling online versus brick-and-mortar sales. Then offer to share the results of your survey with the prospects you call. Give some tidbits of information to gain their interest, then ask for a 15-minute meeting to discuss the results in detail. Once you arrive at the meeting, share the information and ask questions to find out the prospect’s needs in relation to your offerings.

Direct Marketing

Create a direct marketing package with a strong sales letter that includes a freebie if the recipient responds by a certain date. For example, if you sell marketing services, put together a letter that promises a set of valuable tips when the recipient responds within two weeks from the date of the letter. Once the reader responds and you send the free tips along with information about your product or service, it’s time to call the lead and start the sales process.

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