Nearly all companies have aspirations to land that one account that will put them on the map…these goals are something to be worked toward, but should by no means be the only focus. The saying, “an elephant doesn’t get fat ignoring the peanuts,” is the perfect analogy.
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Successful companies don’t become lucrative by ignoring smaller clients/prospects. They realize that these organizations have real needs, and that like calories in peanuts, the dollar amount substantially adds up with large consumption.
Working with smaller clients also enables close relationships to develop, and usually allows direct access to key decision-makers within the company. Since time is money, you’re saving some dollars by bypassing middle management to get feedback on whether there is interest or not.
Down the road, hopefully these small clients will become medium-to-large sized companies, and you will grow with them. When these accounts start to evolve and expand, you’ll be right next to them, proving your worth along the way. When they have additional projects and extra business to conduct, they’ll turn to you because you put in the time and effort when they were small and relatively unknown.
However, if these small clients falter, it’s ok! Replacing smaller accounts is far easier when revenue is coming in, as opposed to drowning in debt while searching for the replacement to the business’ main source of income.
What else to consider when generating business?
- Using humor to sell. As business professionals, we are inundated with sales calls. How do you set yourself apart? Consider making them laugh! Even if they don’t buy it, a joke will engage them faster than a rehearsed sales pitch. Think about it.
- A competitive edge. Figure out what sets your organization apart from the rest…and sell it. Don’t overlook internal practices. Is your company team based? Do you use cross communication and work across units? Is there an effective training program that encourages staff development and helps augment a progressive skill set to help stay ahead of the curve?
- Asking the right question. Ask a question to get the desired answer. A sales person that’s good at their job knows what the answer should be…the prospect might not. A salesperson can repeat how the services will enhance the clients’ lives until their face turns blue, but it’s more effective to have the clients draw that conclusion themselves. By asking the right questions, salespeople can help prospects do just that.
- Remember to listen! Listen, process, digest…then respond! Far too often salespeople hear their clients, but are not necessarily listening and digesting the information.
- The art of the beg. Sometimes, you need to swale your pride, set aside your ego and beg, plain and simple.
Tom Gimbel is the Founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, a staffing firm based in Chicago. Founded in 1998, LaSalle has served thousands of clients and candidates, placing job seekers in temporary, temporary-to-permanent and permanent positions. LaSalle Network has been listed on Inc. Magazine’s 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America list for the past seven years, named by Staffing Industry Analysts’ as a top five “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” from 2011 through 2013, and among the “Fastest Growing Staffing Firms” in 2012 and 2013.
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