How to Sell to Large Accounts


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I remember when I first arrived in sales. I was selling a service to day traders. It was very rewarding but I was missing something. I worked hard for four years and worked the phones like mad but I was not satisfied. Until one day a recruiter called with a job offer than altered my life. Rather than solicit services over the phone I was asked to work for a large organization that desired to employ sales professionals who could get appointments with “C Suite” executives. Yes I was asked to sell new services to the CEO’s and CIO’s of Wall Street. Now I was Top Gun.

Similarly, you will want your sales team to do the same. Selling to large accounts is actually no different from selling one to one but there are some considerations.

First and foremost before any selling representative picks up a phone to place a call with a large account it is important to know what to say before hello. Large accounts require proper planning and analysis so that provocative conversations can transpire between sales agents and decision makers.

The proper research includes:

Annual Report

This important multi-section document is a must read. Within the front pages sales professionals will find a letter from the president or CEO indicating new products, growth plans, operational woes and competitive plans. This first section will communicate how you and your producers help the company.

Other ways to obtain the report go to the firm’s website or subscribe to an Internet services such as or Dow Jones News Retrieval.

Business News

To properly service your customers you must understand their successes, feel their trials and tribulations and help to downplay competitive and marketplace pressures. Reading a major periodical will apprise you of new customer news and keep you abreast of business changes.

Industry News

As important as the real-time business news is, you must clearly understand the industry you service. It is your job to follow the industry news. Perhaps you are servicing a niche industry such as I do in Wall Street Technology. Ask your clients and contacts about the periodicals they read to follow industry trends.

Know the Who

Once you have prepared then you must discover methods to help get you in the door. There fore you must then identify you key economic buyers. Gatekeepers waste time and do not understand value. Gatekeepers focus on victimhood and conceit. Decision makers concern themselves with productivity and value. Do not be confused by titles. There are many individuals who believe titles have enormous clout. 67% of business professionals spend too much time with those that cannot make a decision. Sellers are often duped into the process because they do not ask the proper questions. Good detective work means asking the difficult questions.

Large Accounts Require Results

In my entire business career so many automatically know what they want, but few know what they need. Ask additional questions that provide value by honing in on these differences. The focus here is on value to the organization and to the individual, as well as measurements for success.

Focus on Results

No one cares about your creative advertising or corporate office. Demonstrate important outcomes for the client, such as speed, guarantees, high return, and transition management. When you focus on client results, conversations become crisp and tightly focused.

Customer to Customer Influences

People like to conduct business with those whom they know and like. Begin by obtaining a testimonial from every possible client. Relationships are built based on prior expertise. Your ability to nimbly build a “book” of testimonials will assist you in becoming the provider of choice.

Selling large accounts is not an overnight process. Large Account Management takes years to master, and even then, there is always something to learn. There is no way that in three weeks you will become proficient in selling. Nor can it occur in one sales training course. Selling, like human development, is a process that will take you years of time, energy and investment.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Drew Stevens
Drew J. Stevens Ph.D. (Dr. Drew) is the author of Split Second Selling and the soon to be released Ultimate Business Bible and six other business books on sales, customer loyalty, self mastery and business development solutions. Drew helps organizations to dramatically accelerate revenue and outstrip the competition. He conducts over 4 international keynotes, seminars and workshops per year.


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