How do you get BIG clients (corporate, etc.)?

3 replies
I've been helping Warriors set up membership sites for a while now and my business has grown a lot thanks to you all.

The bottleneck is that most Warriors just need your basic members area, payment processing, etc., so the average project is pretty small.

So now that I really know what I'm doing in this market, I want to land some really big projects with high-paying clients!

I've found a good design team that works at reasonable rates and I have experience managing 10+ person teams.

So for the Warriors out there who have experience transitioning from doing things here on WF on a small scale and really amping it up, please share some wisdom with a fellow Warrior!

(I've already got started networking on LinkedIn and adding value to the various groups there...)

Thanks!
#big #clients #corporate
  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Have you tried going right to the source to see what kind of services/products the big companies want?

    You may find that large corporations are not the best candidates for membership sites. Some of them will have enterprise level web sites and software that allow them to have their own "membership" capability (although they are more apt to call it "customer management" or something similar).

    I would target certain business types (niches) and see if there are already businesses like you want to create in that space. If you find there are already businesses providing this service, you will be able to observe them and see-
    • what types of membership functions they offer
    • what software or application platforms they employ
    • how and where they advertise,
    • and what you need to do to provide a superior service.
    Observation will always be critical to business service providers stepping into new territory as it opens up a window to the present business landscape, practices, and offers multiple clues to who the B2B players are and what they offer.

    The best to your new venture,

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    Most of the clients I consult for or am on retainer with are nationally recognized brands, this actually isn't that hard to do. It's a snowball effect.

    Don't waste your time with network events or make the Internet your first point of communication. You need to find an "in" with one big company first, maybe you know someone who works there and they can authorize outsourcing some piece of a project to you. It doesn't really matter what the scope of the work is, you don't have to reveal it, you just need to be able to make an honest namedrop.

    From there it's a little bit of clever wording. One of the first gigs I landed doing what I do now was through an investment bank I worked with. They had invested in a company and recommended they retain me to lead a project, which I did and fortunately it turned out to be a great success. That was my "in" - and from that moment on, I targeted other companies of a similar size in a non-competitive space and would basically go to the individual departments.

    Say I had a solution for the warehousing/fulfillment division... I would figure out who was in charge of that department via LinkedIn etc. and call them on the phone. I'd introduce myself and let them know I just got done with a similar project for [namedrop] and I thought before I move on to the next gig I thought I'd reach out and see if it might be something they could benefit from as well, offering to just meet up somewhere nearby for lunch.

    At this point, they know nothing about you - but because you namedropped another big company they automatically mentally file you at a higher position than any Joe off the street. The second part of this is to make it where you don't look like you really need them - big companies don't respond to "sales people". Middle-management decision makers (Directors and VP's) need to feel like they are the ones making the decisions and not being "sold", and they generally have their own budgets but still have to report to higher-ups. So anything that lets them come in under budget or improve efficiency and basically makes them look like a great manager is something they're willing to allocate company dollars to - play on this.

    Once you've done this, now you have two names to drop - but you aren't moving on to your third customer just yet. Because you got in with a department, you just green-lit yourself to go after other departments. Maybe you have something for the accounting team, the web guys, the retail division, whatever business they're in, if there is a way to tie it back to the type of work or consulting you do, you can reach out to them and namedrop the Director/VP you worked with in the other department. Now you've just established yourself as someone trustworthy, and they will automatically be more receptive to anything you say because they know the company has already done business with you. Do this with at least one more department before you target the next company, if you can.

    Now you're on to #3, and you have not only two names to drop but multiple solutions and departments within them. And so on. That's the snowball effect. The guys that are out there chasing small and mid-sized businesses are constantly struggling to "prove themselves" and have pages and pages of portfolio entries. Skip all of that crap, don't show a single thing you've done for someone on your website, just show the names. The main thing is just not to be intimidated by it... just because a company is big doesn't mean they're out of your league, the decisions are made by department heads, not CEO's, so they're usually made by people who make less than you do.

    In time, they'll be calling you. I don't even advertise myself anymore because I don't want to take on more clients - if I were to lose one today, I'd just seek out another one and "let them know I'm available", and let them do their homework from there.
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  • Profile picture of the author rizy
    To get corporate clients you have to create packages or you can also offer just one thing but with great quality. When you say corporate, I don't know if you mean as big as Walmart or a TV Commercial Company.

    The biggest clients I have had are Apartment Buildings and Malls. There is a lot of work to be done in Malls, even big companies like GAP and what not will hire you. I am speaking through a design service offering, not marketing.
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