6 Sales Secrets to Enhance Selling to Public Companies

May 3, 2016

  1. The Cost of Business: Public companies are expensive to run; they must carefully comply with the myriad of board responsibilities and the rules established to protect investors. The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) audits conformity and adherence to other strict regulations. Such complex structure requires more goods and support staff to function best. Such a setting makes for greater sales potential for your company’s products and services.

    • While accounting costs may be high, public companies have the advantage over private companies in potential larger amounts of capital through access to selling stock or corporate bonds. Additionally, investors tend to be more trusting in a public company because of perceived reduced risk. Potential cash reserves deserve investigation.


  1. Shareholders: Public companies can be slow in decision making due to their need for shareholder approval in operational and growth decisions. Most private companies are not limited in this way, meaning you will likely work out a final decision with a smaller group of decision makers and possibly in a more rapid, straightforward way. Depending on the size of the public company and the impact your product or service will have on a company, there can be more hurdles to jump through if shareholders are involved. Using the information available online, including financials, get comfortable with the company’s essence and momentum and to whom you should be selling.


  1. Buy One Share of Stock in Your Target Public Company: As a “Shareholder,” and not just another annoying sales representative, you can increase your odds of getting through to the decision makers–and separate yourself from the “pack.”

    • Coco Channel noted, “You have to be different to be remembered.” After I purchase my share, my first call is to the Office of Investor Relations. I ask for the manager of the department and introduce myself as a “Shareholder” who has a financial interest in the overall profitability and success of the business. I ask this same manager to provide to me the names of the individuals that would be involved in the decision-making process for my product/service. I have over a 93% success rate obtaining the decision-makers information and getting a successful “Warm” phone introduction. Food for thought!


  1. Short Term vs. Long Term Goals: Public companies issue quarterly statements to their shareholders and must often disclose more financial information than private companies do. A private company often has the advantage of looking more at long-term goals when making decisions. Public companies live the day to day life of a business in order to please shareholders and continue to attract investors. Selling to a public company? You need to solve sale problems in a different way than you would for a private company. Promote the immediate positive impact your product or service will have when chosen.


  1. Savvy Management: Public companies attract a stronger, more experienced breed of senior management, which means in-depth research of the company’s business issues is critical. Quality leads. The sales rep prepared with solid knowledge of how their sales product/service solution is the best value, will be at an advantage. The sales individual is going to have to do their homework to make a sale with a public company.


  1. Access to Information: Always research potential prospects in the public company domain, so you are not wasting your time on a poorly run, beleaguered, and financially strapped organization with less growth potential and little access to capital. Peruse the company’s website for financial data, rule out missed earnings targets, or SEC concerns. A sudden drop in company stock price may warn of short-term credit problems; review rating agency reports, stock analysis, and press reports. If there are volumes of bad news, you are wise to find another PROSPECT. Remember, a prospect is defined as a company that has NEED, MONEY, AUTHORITY, & DESIRE. All others are just SUSPECTS and are a WASTE OF TIME!
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