Every small business strives to win bigger and bigger clients who have more money to spend, but if you're going to to do this you need to pitch your services in a way that appeals to them and gives them confidence that you can deliver on what you have promised and what they need.
So how do you go about making a positive impression on the bigger clients, convince them to give you a chance, and then seal the deal?
Sell where they buy
Where do the big clients in your industry go to make purchases? Do they buy online, at trade shows, industry events, on recommendation, or through another procurement process? Target your marketing towards the best channel for your intended audience.
Do your research
Before pitching get your hands on as many of their communication pieces as possible, from a mixture of mediums and learn about the history of their company, their core services and values, and their industry landscape. This will put you in a position to converse with them confidently about their business.
Maintain a professional image
A strong, consistent brand image will create a positive first impression of your company and show that you mean business. Think of all your marketing materials as a set: your website, social media pages, business cards, brochures and other printed materials should all be clean, consistent, professional, and up-to-date.
Get testimonials from other clients
Big businesses will not necessarily dismiss you because you're a small company - in fact it can work to your advantage if you can provide glowing customer testimonials that praise both the quality of your work and the attentiveness of your personalised customer service. The latter is something your bigger competitors will struggle to persuade clients they can deliver.
Understand their processes
Large organisations have defined processes for the procurement of goods and services. The person you meet with may not be the final decision maker, so think about how best to position your pitch so they are motivated to recommend you to their boss. You may also be required to undergo a vendor vetting process and/or submit copies of your equality, health and safety or environmental policies. Make sure you know what is required to win the contract and be in a position to provide it.
Make sure that you deliver!
It's no good securing a big client and then not being able to provide everything you promise. It's important to provide the best possible service to any client, no matter how big or small they are, so don't over-promise and under-deliver. Ensure than you have the time and manpower to fulfill all of their requirements, and do the best job you possibly can. Your good work could even lead to recommendations to other companies, helping you to get another big client on your books!
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