As a business coach for over 25 years, I have worked with thousands of businesses teaching them how to scale and create owner-independent companies. While there are many components to a successful business like good business systems and a positive company culture, having a good solid customer base ranks at the top of the list.
Imagine if you could double your sales by securing just one new customer?
Sounds great David, but how do I land a big account?
1. Create a Fishing List -- Whales Only!
Who are 5 potential customers you could court that if you won their business would double your business over the next 12-24 months? Start by putting together a list of companies that you want to pursue. Find out their sales volume, research their management team and do a analysis of how you stack up against the vendors they are currently buying from.
Who are they currently buying from and how do you stack up relative to this other party?
How do you stack up on:
Experience / track record?
Why do they buy from their existing vendor or supplier that you want to replace? What are their areas of dissatisfaction? What are the most important criteria that they use to make a buying decision? Who on their team is the decision maker? Who are the influencers?
2. Make Yourself Hard To Resist
When fishing for a large account, it is imperative that you make yourself as attractive as possible to the client in question. One such strategy is to offer up a pilot project on extreme terms. In essence this strategy says you are willing to put your company's product or service on the line through a pilot project where you prove your ability to add massive value to your prospective whale's world. Frame the pilot project offer as your way to earn the right to either take on some of their business, or to at the very least, to be their "Plan B" partner.
This strategy worked for Windswept Marketing, a specialty branded products company based in the southeastern USA . (Disclosure: They were a former business coaching client for several years). Initially when we first began working with them their average client purchased $4,000 to $6,000 worth of products each year. Soon thereafter they kicked of a pilot project for a key customer for a new product they created called "Indirect Embroidery" and that program lead to them landing hundreds of thousands in annual sales from Home Depot, the NFL, and other marque "whales." And it all started with a small pilot program that was a massive success.
3. Go Deep Sea Diving.
It takes a lot of guts to go for a large account. And in many cases, there are clients that go untouched simply for fear of rejection or the assumption that they are already being serviced by one of your competitors. So do your research, and look for customers that may be doing something in-house simply because they haven't been offered up any other viable options.
Landing a big account is worth the work, so grab your tackle box and get fishing!