Friday, November 9, 2012

7 Ways to Land a Big Customer

Bagging the Elephant

Most successful small business owners know the exact moment when their struggling company turned the corner and headed down the road toward success. Frequently, that moment came when they landed their first really big deal, or as business expert and author Steve Kaplan says, "They bagged an elephant."

Kaplan has racked up deals with some of the most respected brands in the country, and he believes every business can do the same. Of course, big deals don't just land in your lap. In order to bag your own big customer, you must have a focused strategy. We offer seven tips to help your hunting.

1. Make a List of Prospects

Create a list of companies with which you'd like to work and then do your research. Learn as much about them as you possibly can. For example, how much money do they spend annually on products or services you offer?

Kaplan suggests you think creatively when you build your list. Everyone is going to go after the obvious companies. Try to identify other firms that might also be interested in your offerings.

2. Look Big

Large companies need to have confidence in your ability to perform, so you want to appear as professional as possible. In today's world, you don't have to be big to look big, and it doesn't have to cost you a fortune.

Invest in quality business cards and letterhead. Make sure you have a professional website, not one that looks like your cousin built. Look in the mirror. Is your company one in which you'd want to do business?