One of the questions I get asked most often is how do you get your foot in the door at major corporations? There are several strategies that I share with my clients, but I’ve included 3 of them here. (Even if you’re a veteran supplier, this is a good reminder!)
3 Easy Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door
1. Be a strategic networker. If you are a strong networker it makes your job of prospecting and relationship building a lot easier. The only thing is, just about everything you’ve learned about networking–and all the places most small business owners ten to think of for networking–are not a good fit when your goal is landing corporate clients. You need to place yourself where you will find people who are decision makers (or can introduce you to the decision maker). Consider industry specific conference and tradeshows, Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), nonprofit events, and your college alumni events.
2. Send a good old fashioned email. Email is typically the most effective way to contact the purchasing department (aka supplier diversity). Be sure to personalize it and stick to a few quick points that talk about the benefit of your product or service to their specific problem. Be sure to include a call to action.
3. Build alliances with other MWBEs. One challenge that minority and women business owners (MWBEs) have is not being scalable enough to fulfill contracts. Partnering with other MWBEs that offer the same thing as you gives you power to compete. You can also offer tremendous time-saving value to your prospective corporate client if you partner with a MWBE that offers something complimentary to yours.
Post your comments below of how YOU have successfully got your foot in the door with your corporate clients…