Owner-managers tell me they are on a rollercoaster. They are either too busy delivering client work to go after new business or they're frantically chasing down the next assignment because there is no work.
Preferred vendor agreements with big companies can lead to annuity types of assignments and get business owners off the rollercoaster.
1. Annual budgets are recurring expenses and are administered by purchasing departments.
When you are told "It's not in the budget", this usually means the annual operating budget is committed to current providers. This is the budget which pays for expenses occuring every year. For example: marketing, advisory services, distribution costs.
Where can you find discretionary budgets inside large corporations and how do you position your firm's offering there rather than within annual budgets?
Discretionary budgets support short-term, critical objectives. The executive committee may have made public commitments to investors or shareholders, so the best place to learn what discretionary budgets are likely to be spent on is in quarterly earnings reports.
Looking at the investor relations part of a company's website, where public presentations are stored, will also give insight as to what the executive committee is concentrating on.
Look for objectives which sound like this:
“2% gain in market share this year”
“entry into the China market by 2015”
“move to # 5 position in the industry”
Demonstrating how your firm can help the company reach those goals rather than with general benefits like "we help drive sales" will get you into the C-level executive's suite.
Funding a first-time assignment from a discretionary budget improves the odds for a new vendor.
The next episode will discuss being "Super-niche".
Catherine Mcquaid is a Big Game Hunter in the Urban Jungle. Her clients are mid-sized business services firms who want to win consulting assignments with the Fortune 1000. Trained as a semiotician/literature critic, she now owns a key account development business.
Her strategies for engaging very senior executives in large companies can be used by big game hunters everywhere. She writes on Major Account Acquisition strategies.
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To contact directly: email, phone, 416.923.0877, Skype: cmcquaid