Landing Big Business Customers

“Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.”- Tony Hsieh

Landing big business customers is the dream of every company and for which companies put in place a number of tactics and strategies. However, looking at statistics and data, they show that a very large number of businesses do not succeed in getting those big customers, either because they do not know the right tactics or fail to implement the strategies effectively. Getting big business customers requires constant effort to increase awareness, reliability, interest, and credibility with them. These ‘big fish’ have no dearth of attention from a large number of players in the market – hence for them to notice and like anyone player in particular becomes a tough ask for companies. It would take something unique and differentiated to be noticed and remain in the forefront in these ‘high ranks’.  Do you believe that your company has what it takes to be the ‘chosen one’ and land a customer with very ‘deep pockets’?

It takes time and effort to make a thorough analysis of one’s company before trying to land big business customers – you need to know whether your company has, what it takes to interest them, and whether you have the bandwidth and scalability to manage the large ‘account’. Only post assessing the company’s internal strength, abilities, and future capabilities, must a company reach ‘out there’. It would be essential to first, get the company ‘heard and seen’ – networking efforts become extremely essential. The mistake that companies often make is to forget such efforts given the fast pace of the business world. However, just like any other business imperative, networking is extremely critical in order to raise awareness and interest in the company – you never know who is watching and listening – and you could end up with one or more big business customers. Very often, the reason that prospective customers do not reach out is because they do not know about a company / its products and services, and hence it would be sensible for companies to make the effort to get out to the front and do things that would catch the attention of the right customers aka big business customers. In any case, networking is quintessential to starting, building, and sustaining relationships with all types of customers.

Once a company has ‘waved its hands’ in front of their target customers, it would need to show these customers why it is different. Developing and exhibiting a USP (unique selling / value proposition) would be essential, as this is what will differentiate even a small company from the others. There are several examples in business world ‘history’ that tell stories of how even small time players entered a market teeming with ‘massive and heavy’ competitors, and yet managed to hold their own and become noticed with big business customers. This was possible not just by showing what was different about them, but also how the ‘difference’ could hugely benefit the customers in several ways. Customers want to know ‘what’s in it’ for them, but they would not make the effort to know this – they expect the company to tell and show them why it would be beneficial for them to ‘join hands’.

In order to serve big business customers, the company must be ‘ready’ to handle the big business and the many expectations that these ‘big guys’ would have. The company must be strong internally – a robust infrastructure and a motivated workforce – in order to be able gain maximum benefit from the big business. Big customers would mean bulk orders, and most likely, the time in which to fulfil these orders would be lesser than what other customers would expect. For any company with big business customers, a strong infrastructure and the ability to meet the ‘big’ demands of these customers would be quintessential to retaining these customers and thereby ensuring its long-term success. Companies must remember that keeping big business customers satisfied is even harder than profitable yet small business customers. Pleasing them is a full-time and consistent task, and any lapse would be easily noticed and frowned upon.

As mentioned, it is tempting and extremely lucrative for any company to land big business customers. However, this cannot happen until a company has an in-depth understanding of the customers it plans to ‘target’. It would be helpful for a company to know from where these prospective customers currently buy, what services they need and use, who the leaders are, what plans they have for their business, and other such aspects that would provide great insights into the psyche and companies of these big business customers. It would also be prudent to know these ‘big guys’ outside of business – their social media pages, the events they go to, their business and personal contacts, and other such aspects that would provide an all-round understanding of these customers.

Dealing with customers is already an overwhelming and extremely challenging task – the complexity of this task is compounded when working with big business customers, given their higher expectations and demands. It would take time to get their attention, and even more time before being afforded a personal interaction with them. The face-to-face meeting is what will decide whether the prospective customer would become a regular buying customer – this effectively means that what a company presents / the pitch it makes during this meeting must be effective and impactful. Spending some time to up the ante of this presentation could be highly beneficial and could increase the chance of a company landing big business customers. The presentation must reflect confidence and belief in the business, and the company should be able to convey its brand’s promises and capabilities. The ‘presenter’ too must be highly effective – have excellent communication skills, display tenacity and confidence in what the company would be offering the prospective customers, and be able to answers all their questions with conviction.

The truth is – harsh as it might be – that despite the best and most consistent of efforts, a company may not be able to get an audience with big business customers, or be able to ‘convert’ these customers despite a personal interaction. However, the key to success lies in being resilient, patient, and accepting that it would take long, but your company would land the ‘coveted account’. The mantra would be to wait for a while, and then approach the prospect again – however, remain mindful that if several big business customers have similar reasons for turning your company down, it would be necessary to evaluate those reasons, sort out any issues, and then try again. Customers are quick to perceive if a company accepts and implements their suggestions / feedback, and are more amenable to listening to a company that successfully does this.

Irrespective of whether, prospective customers are small or big business customers, the fact is that they want to feel important, have a strong relationship with, and feel emotionally connected with a company. It takes a great deal of time and effort for any company to create and build a relationship with customers, given the number of choices customers now have. Since the investment of resources is so great, it would be good business sense for any company to nurture and ‘protect’ the relationship, such that these big business customers, who would also be highly influential, could land the company with more such ‘accounts’. The better a company becomes at creating and maintaining strong ties with big business customers, the greater its chances of becoming a market leader in the realm of its operation / industry.

Develop interactive decision trees for troubleshooting, cold calling scripts, medical appointments, or process automation. Enhance sales performance and customer retention across your call centers. Lower costs with customer self-service.

Interactive Decision Tree