Getting Corporate Accounts

We’re starting a new Corporate Account program at our shop. We’ve never really gone after this kind of business. What’s your advice on how to get large businesses signed up on this type of program?

Please throw out any ideas you have… we’re open to anything!

when you do, have a delayed payment program. As far as how to get started, get carryout menus printed if you don’t have them yet, come up with some really good deals for businesses and go present them yourself. Talk to the manager/owner and get to know them on a personal level. Sell yourself and your business to them. Let them know why they should choose you over the other guys. Let them know you will totally take care of them.

I agree, you have to have a billing procedure, as these accounts usually can’t have a check drawn when you deliver. We have this set up with the foodservice director of a hospital, the YMCA, and a the student council of a community college. The hospital account is probably good for 1500 pizzas a year. They call to place the order and don’t even ask for a price. They know I will always be fair with them and I don’t think they’ll ever go elsewhere unless I give them a reason to.

Paul,

I’ve always been afraid to approach places like hospitals because they have their own cafeterias.

How did you approach the foodservice director ?
Were they already making pizza there ?
What was your best selling point ?
What are some obstacles to overcome before they sign up ? ex: did they want to know nutritional information? or check out your location first ?

You can reply back in a pm so I don’t throw this thread off course.

Thanks for the responses so far guys.

We do have a billing system, and we’re offering 30-day terms. I’ve also hired a Saleswoman to go out and handle these accounts. She’s going to sell, take the orders and fully manage these accounts for us. I know I should be doing it myself, but I just don’t have the time. Plus, I’m not the greatest salesperson in the world… this woman is a great salesperson right from the start.

I’m interested to read Paul’s responses to the above questions. That’s the kind of stuff I’d really like to know about these clients.

I wish I had a profound answer that would help others get accounts like this. I really didn’t do much to get the hospital orders. The foodservice director wanted to place an order for over 300 pizzas delivered at the same time, and was concerned about whether we could handle it. All I had to do was convince him that capacity was not an issue. Have had orders from them for 7 years since. They typically order as a reward for their employees for raising over a set goal for a charity, or when the hospital is over its capacity of patients.

wow, 300 at the same time, how did you manage that. I’ve only managed 100 over a 30 mins delivery window.

I’d be really interested in how you managed to get that many out.

I had one of our other locations across town deliver 100 of them. 200 is pretty manageable with enough planning.