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When developing a B2B technology company, you have two choices.

You can sell to small and medium-sized businesses (aka SMBs), or you can sell to large enterprises.

There is a stark difference between how you sell to one group versus the other. Large enterprises are demanding, are process-heavy, and unusually large organizations.

So, solving problems for these behemoths can be very tricky.

That is what Dan Hitz, the co-founder of NetApp, discovered first hand.

Selling to large enterprises requires calculated risks and careful planning. It’s like walking into a pen and trying to cut off the balls of a bull.

Dan experienced first hand the risks associated with completing this fete during a stint at a ranch before attending Princeton.

Little did he know this form of risk-taking would serve him well in start-up land.

How to Castrate a Bull is also the name of his famous book filled with fast-paced stories about his journey, making NetApp a billion-dollar company.

One story I really enjoyed was when he was leading a sale at a large financial services company.

“Okay, I know your story. You can do everything EMC can do, and you can do it for a lot less, right?” (EMC was and is our biggest competitor.) Tom nodded, and she said, “With a story like that, you will never make a single sale on Wall Street. My company has plenty of money, and as long as everything keeps working, I’ll get promoted. Why would I change anything? “

The lesson here is simple.

NEVER sell on price.

Why? It’s not compelling enough.

Focus on what your solution can help them do now that they couldn’t do before and why they MUST do that now because the word has changed in some fundamental way.

Related articles on enterprise sales and the importance of story on CEOPLAYBOOK:

Magic Moments: Five Enterprise Selling Plays for CEOs

By Published On: December 11th, 2019Categories: Leadership, Letters, SalesTags: , , , ,

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About the Author: John Belizaire

John Belizaire is a serial entrepreneur, advisor, and investor. He is also the founder and managing editor of CEOPLAYBOOK — an online publication dedicated to exploring what it means to be a startup CEO. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter. Subscribe to his popular newsletter — Mental Candy — read by over 500 CEOs.