24 November 2006

Cracking the big account

I've just read a post by Jill Konrath. She tells a story about how her daughter approached Pepsico for sponsorship. Towards the end she has a number of learning points about selling to big accounts.

The one that caught my eye was:
"If at first you don't succeed - try, try again! But don't keep trying the same old thing. Think of a new approach, a new slant on the same approach. Keep at it! Penetrating a big company is a campaign - not an event."

That's good advice. Too many people see selling to a big account as an impossible task - all the people that they have ever known there have moved on, their last approach was rejected and so on. What big accounts value is something that helps them achieve their objectives better, quicker, cheaper - that is what their own customers are pushing them to provide.

Don't give up. Sit down with your friends and colleagues and be creative - someone outside The Big Account Inc. can occasionally catch the eye or the ear of an executive because their approach isn't hampered by any internal politicisation or history. But make sure that you think about the campaign just in case your latest creative approach gets rejected.

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