Selling Corporate Chains - Big Fish
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I've owned my sign & neon company for over 10 years now. We have several clients with multiple locations. My business coach has been pushing me to actively prospect with small-to-medium sized chains. I have a pretty solid background in sales, but in 10+ years I haven't been able to crack this nut. The chains that have come to us have stayed with us, but I'd like to develop a more aggressive prospecting/marketing plan. Any ideas?

 

I know there are services that provide higher-level contact information - i.e. Manta.com, etc. I've tried going through the main corporate numbers of a few chains but the gatekeepers there tend to screen pretty well. I've hired (2) sales consultants that have taken my money and delivered nada. I'm sure there are others here that have figured this out.

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Sean,

I would start by looking into some regional trade shows where you could display, or even attend and network at.  ISCS, International Council of Shopping Centers - www.icsc.org is a good place to start.  

 

Keep in mind, these types of sales are difficult, often taking  a year or so to close a deal and most of the time involving some type of RFP. 

 

Good luck, and feel free to PM me if you want more info.

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Most of the nationals that I've studied seem to have started with that "one big break" getting in with a large chain. From there they make contacts with their purchasing agents....who like most employees these days tend to change companies throughout their careers.

Those contacts take positions at other companies which opens the door for those accounts.

 

So ultimately your point of contact you want to reach are the purchasing/procurement agents.....those are the ones who issue the RFPs/RFQs....

 

Tough market for sure....retail is a dying industry.....less fish in the sea for the big nationals to fight over right now.

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