Doing business with the Multinational Corporations – Amsterdam November 2013 – WEConnect International

Another fabulous WEConnect day, a huge thank you to our host RBS, and sponsors IBM and Accenture and of course, WEConnect International for another excellent event!

We met some wonderful business owners in Amsterdam and I am sure there are some wonderful opportunities for collaboration and good business. Working with the multinationals does mean thinking carefully about your business and ensuring you are fit for purpose and working to best practice. It is critical to think carefully about your offering and ensure it meets the differing needs of the corporates. They want to work with exciting and innovative SME’s and support diversity and inclusion but they need us to ensure we are ready to do business in the right way.

Getting to speak to or, in contact with the right connection at a multinational is tough. Before you make contact be clear about what you have to offer them, how it will help their business and who you need to connect with in order to do business.

Research and planning – is critical – you don’t want to waste the opportunity once it arrives and you must ensure you communicate about your business offering clearly and concisely. Very often the buyer needs to connect you onto a colleague so make it easy for them to do so.

Understand the corporate, understand how your offering can be of benefit to them and keep the communication short and sweet. Attaching a well thought out PDF introduction to your business is a good way to do it. Allowing the buyer to forward on to the right person – try to keep it to one or two pages and make it good to read!

Many buyers want to find new exciting suppliers – a few key things to consider:-

Be persistent but not an irritant!
• Buyers are busy people – help them to help you
• Don’t hassle or stalk them
• Offer something they want to share in their business
• Show how you can add value to their business
• Always be nice – don’t get frustrated
• Be proactive and supportive throughout
• Make sure your offer is clear, concise and relevant
• Get your business in shape for corporates

A few tips in preparing to do business with the Multinationals:-
• Create a capability statement that is short and sharp
• Get a well-designed one page pitch PDF introduction
• Make sure you look right – www – LinkedIn – Twitter – Pinterest
• Be tender ready – accreditations, policies etc.
• Think about the buyer – research – help solve their problems
• Be part of relevant Linked in groups – be active, supportive and engaged
• Look at your own supply chain – be inclusive
• Take care of your network – support and connect others
• Share with your big customers the diversity code of conduct
• Connect people – it may not give you short term business but people remember

Be proactive, passionate and patient!

Gill Thorpe – FCIPS – Managing Director –The Sourcing Team