How to contact companies for business? Find out more about the company you are planning to approach, understand its requirements, design your proposal to match the company's interests, make sure the proposal reaches the decision maker, and follow up regularly.

Approaching Corporations With a Business Proposal

Presenting a business idea to a corporation is a kind of negotiation. The tone, information, prices, and the method of presentation are all essential elements of your proposal. In order to ensure a successful proposal, you must put in more efforts than just sending across a generic brochure.

You should consider the following aspects while approaching a corporation with your business proposal:

Investigate

Know the company you are planning to approach. If it's a public company, go through its annual reports. Visit the company's website to know more about it. Understand the product line and business model of the company, and how it brands itself. Call the company and find out the right person to discuss your proposal with. The CEO's administrative assistant can serve as a good source of information.

Understand

Find out what you should include in your proposal to make it interesting and useful for the company you are targeting. It's a good idea to forge a relationship with the head of the department your proposal will be relevant to. Try to understand what kind of proposals the company usually accepts, and form a realistic picture of how the company would evaluate your proposal. Finally, write your proposal keeping in mind the company's way of evaluation.

Approach

You should approach in a manner that your proposal reaches the actual decision maker. If you have developed a good relationship with the concerned department head, send your business proposal to him. Alternatively, you may want to send the proposal directly to the CEO, so that at least his administrative assistant takes a look at it and decides whether it's important enough to forward to the CEO.

People often use express delivery to invite more attention, but this practice has become quite common nowadays and may not produce the desired results. If you are confident enough, you may want to fix up a face-to-face meeting and give a presentation yourself.

Follow-Up

Follow up on your proposal regularly. This however, does not mean that you should call up every day. Call a day after your proposal reaches the company to find out when you should check back. Call again, maybe a week later, to get an update, and ask again whether you should continue to check back. Never demand to put you through to the decision maker. Try to leave a good impression. Sometimes, you may get a call several months later informing that your proposal has been accepted.

Pitching Your Products to Large Companies

Inviting attention and winning trust of large corporations to your products and services is not so easy. However, there are certain steps that can increase your chances of becoming successful in pitching your products.

  • First of all, you must have a proof of concept. If you have some existing customers using your product, it can be a good way to show that your product is likely to be accepted in the market.
  • Prepare a list of big brands that are likely to accept your product. Then look through your professional network to find a connecting link to these brands.
  • After getting an opportunity to talk to the company, prepare yourself to explain the product features, price, and benefits. Supporting your presentation with numbers will make your case stronger. Be prepared to answer some difficult questions like whether your product can be misused by children, how to mitigate that risk, etc.
  • Consider hiring a professional or partnering up with someone with experience in selling products to big brands.

Angelique Rewers's Five Tips for Selling to Corporate Clients

Angelique Rewers, CEO of The Corporate Agent, recommends using the following tips for selling to corporate clients:

  • Take the road less traveled or think of an uncommon approach.
  • Time your sales pitch to match up with the thinking process of the decision makers.
  • Build your image of a problem-solver rather than that of a pushy salesman.
  • Ask questions to your prospective clients to understand their needs, and identify areas where you can add value.
  • Rather than becoming a shy and bashful mind reader, roll up your sleeves, and discuss the deal in precise terms. Having a deal with clear terms will bring fewer surprises down the line.

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