The Art of Selling to Giant Corporations

A man who’s won over Loblaw’s, Sobeys and Couche-Tard shares what smaller firms can do to get big business

 
Written by Robert Gold

The guest on this week’s BusinessCast has learned how to sell to giants. His name is Ron Cihocki, a wireless veteran who is now country manager of movie rental kiosk firm RedBox Canada. RedBox has been extremely successful in the U.S., and it’s Cihocki’s job to do the same in Canada. Today, the company has 1,400 kiosks across the country, in all 10 provinces, in such retailers as Loblaw’s, Sobeys and Shopper’s Drug Mart.

In his quest to get the kiosks into such marquee retailers, Cihocki has learned some valuable lessons about what it takes to negotiate, and win over, large corporate chains. Here are his three top tips:

1. Build the brand

When Cihocki first started trying to get kiosks into Canadian retailers, awareness of the RedBox brand was very low in Canada. “That was something we worked on very hard through promotional activities and in social and traditional media,” he says. “We’d talk to the retailers about the success story the business had been in the U.S., and what it could mean for them and their businesses.”

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2. Sell the benefits

“Obviously, we share some of the revenue with them,” Cihocki says. But that’s not really the value we brings to the table for them. The value is the traffic we drive to their stores. Once it becomes a habitual behaviour for the consumer, they’ll go to the store to get their RedBox movie and then make purchases they hadn’t planned to. We were able to show them those trends and numbers frm the U.S.” Being able to offer a corporation something so valuable made negotiations much easier, he says—especially since he had proven data to back up his promises.

3. Make it no-risk

Large corporations are usually deathly allergic to risk, so it’s smart to make your offer as easy and risk-free for them as possible, says Cihocki. “We put the capital in, we put the machine there, we look after it and service it,” he says. “It’s a no-risk proposition for them.”

For more of Cihocki’s thoughts, check out this week’s BusinessCast, which you can listen to by clicking the button above or download by clicking on the iTunes logo below:

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Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com

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