by Rachel Owens

A special thanks to the panelist for their candid advice:

Richard Chacon, Director of Supplier Diversity and Development for MUFG Union Bank
Michelle Chieks, Supply Chain Project Manager for SGE
Lisa Castillo AT&T Supplier Diversity Manger
David Pell PG&E Supplier

Tips from all of our presenters

1. Be prepared. Know and understand the type of work and purchasing needs of the corporate, public entity or government department you are approaching for a contract. You can find a wealth of information from the annual reports. They will show you future plans and purchasing.
• PG&E 2016 Supplier Diversity Annual Report and 2017 Annual Plan
• PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2016
• PG&E Prime Supplier Program Presentation
• Sempra Energy Balanced Growth
• Union Bank Annual Report
• AT&T Annual Report

2. Clearly articulate your elevator pitch when someone asks what you do. For example: if you are in professional services, don’t just say you provide “professional services!” Maybe you provide professional services by providing best in class data analytics in a particular industry to increase their sales performance. Remember there are thousands of companies that do similar work. Highlight how are you able to tie your services/products into a statement that stands out.

3. Before you “pitch” your business to any corporation, have a clear command of what sets you apart from your competition and make it concrete. Will you save a company time, money or increase their profits? Tie a portion of your company’s value to a metric – numbers and percentages speaks volume

4. Build relationships with Supplier Diversity professionals – while they might not have an opportunity, they may be able to connect you to a peer that would be interested in your services.

5. Create an effective system to follow up with leads and ask them their preference on how they would like for you to communicate with them.
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