In our last post we covered how to bring the big-company mindset into your business and your team. This will help you overcome the mental obstacles that will keep you from being successful. Now that you’ve learned how to overcome that, we’re going to discuss how to identify who your fish is. It is important to be familiar with the fish you are looking for before you put a plan together. We will also take a moment to highlight the potential “red tape” you may encounter along the way.
The most important thing to know about your fish is their purchasing habits and procedures. There are four main things you need to work on in order to be successful:
- Responsibilities: You need to know who has influence over purchasing, who does the actual buying, and who has the ability to kill a deal if desired.
- Get on Their List: You need to figure out how to get on their list of people to buy from. Your name not only needs to be on that list, but at the top of it and in as many categories as possible for additional interaction. Ask about a procurement program and what is required to go through the application process.
- Lingo: You need to learn the company’s unique language and communication style. This could include report names, buzzwords and even the nicknames they have for their employees.
- Fiscal Budgets: It is essential for you to be familiar with the fiscal budget of your fish so you know exactly when they are planning their expenses for the year.
Now that we’ve identified what you need to know about your fish, let’s take a quick look at the “red tape”.
Bureaucracy might as well be a four-letter word with the emotions it stirs in all of us. “Red tape” is a necessary evil that you can use to your advantage by learning from their system. There are two ways to learn from their system:
- Analyze their activity;
- Review their correspondence.
Being an outsider looking in can have its advantages too. If you hate dealing with the “red tape”, imagine how their employees feel dealing with it. If they need to crunch some numbers, offer to take care of it for them. If they need more info, make sure you are providing it in a user-friendly way.
The things we talked about in this lesson will help you prepare for the big approach. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you need assistance with untangling the “red tape”.