Every small business owner dreams of landing a series of “known” clients. Being able to brag on your website that you’ve worked for some of the largest players in the market is typically a great entry to getting bigger customers. Of course, the hardest part is getting the first one to say “yes” to your product or service. That’s why you have to strategize like crazy and then be willing to “go with the flow” if necessary.
Selling is part science, part art. The science aspect is based on facts, numbers, dates and those sorts of things. The art part is a little tougher to learn and comes from experience. However, it should be said that if you’re tenacious and determined, there’s no reason you cannot aim for the stars. Below are five ways to snag a client!
1: Be Ready to Handle a Big Client
In order to service a large client, your infrastructure has to be tight. If you’re selling a product, you have to be able to fulfill a significant order. On the other hand, if you’re offering a service, your employees have to be prepared to complete whatever responsibilities you’re promising. Analyze the workings of your business from A to Z and don’t overlook anything. A large client brings large expectations. You have to be ready to satisfy bigger customers.
As an example, HydroWorx, a company that manufactures and sells aquatic therapy pools, works with some of the most well-known names in sports and rehab: NASA, Navy SEALs, San Francisco 49ers… the list goes on and on. Before they were able to boast such a client roster, they had to prove to those clients they had the ability to provide superior products and excellent customer service.
2: Do Your Homework on Target Clients
Make a list of your target clients; you know, the ones you would “die” to be able to invoice. Then, start investigating them as much as you can. Check online and find out who the “go to” people are, who else has provided products/services for them, etc.
Spend a great deal of time understanding how they think and work. This will give you a much better understanding of how to woo them. For instance, if you discover that they go to certain conferences or conventions every year, it might be a good idea for you to consider going as well.
3: Hone Your Pitch
Let’s say you land an audience with a big client. What will you say? Spend hours and hours honing your pitch, because it’s basically your first impression.
You won’t get another opportunity – usually – to make a pitch like this, so you have to hit it out of the proverbial ballpark. Dot every “I” and cross every “T” without fail. An excellent article from Inc. suggests that you create a pitch that answers the big question that every toddler begs: “Why?” The better your presentation, the better your chances that you’ll be working with one of the “big boys.”
4: Believe in Yourself and Your Business
A lot of times, small business owners suddenly become tongue-tied and intimidated when negotiating potential deals with large clients. Don’t allow yourself to back down or suddenly become terrified that you can’t live up to your promises. Firmly stand your ground.
You have to exhibit a bit of audacity to make CEOs or buyers from large companies believe that your business is worth the risk. Tout the advantages of working with small businesses. If you’re a woman or minority-owned business, the large company may even be able to get certain tax breaks for working with you.
5: Keep Trying for Big Fish
In sales, it takes time to get to a “yes.” Expect that you’ll need to be patient as you move along in the process. Gracefully accept “no,” but don’t allow every “no” to make you feel defeated for long. Of course, if you start hearing the same objections over and over, you may discover that big clients have a true issue with a part of your product or service. Fix any problems and re-charge your efforts.
If you have a solid business model and you offer what big clients want and need, the only thing keeping you from landing a sweet deal is some “elbow grease.” The harder you work, the stronger your chances of having a business with 500+ employees as one of your clients.