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Leveraging the Power of “Brand Name” Customers to Grow Your Small Business

When I started my small business seven years ago, I had the good fortune to have a well-known and respected company as my first customer. Compared to my local competitors whose clients were composed of local companies who were unknown outside of our city, I had a distinct competitive advantage as I competed for local and out of town business.

The bottom line is this: It’s a lot easier to sign up new business when you have a marquee client or two. It’s just simple psychology; people rationalize that a brand name customer would not associate with a business who could not deliver at a high level.

Consider some of the additional benefits of having brand name clients:

When introducing your company, you can mention that you do business with well known customers such as ABC Co etc, and this generates instant interest and dialogue.

Having a high-profile client or two forces you to systemize your business processes in order to sell to, communicate with, and service your name brand client’s needs at the high level they expect. And that’s a good thing.

You can list your brand name customers on your web site to generate instant credibility.

You can mention your brand name customers in your marketing material.

It makes it a lot easier to garner additional brand name customers.

Brand name customers typically pay their bills on time!

It’s likely that the people you would deal with in brand name organization have connections working at other name brand organizations. Treat them well, and it is a distinct possibility they will recommend you to appropriate contacts. Referrals are the ultimate compliment and the best way to grow your business.

Once you have your foot in the door with a brand name client, there is potential to do additional business with them, providing an opportunity for you to expand your service or product offerings.

You will find it easier to attract high-quality employees. This is another psychological fact: People take pride in their work, and working for a business that has high profile clients makes people feel like they’re working for a quality business. And there’s nothing duplicitous about this, because if you have a high-profile client, you are that high quality business.

As a small business owner, having a marque client provides you with a certain sense of accomplishment… and accomplishment is the very stuff that future success is bred from.

So you might consider making a list of 10 high-profile companies that you the potential to do business with. Identify specific sales and marketing strategies that will allow you to introduce your product or service to the correct decision maker, and begin the process.

A note of caution however: Don’t expect this process to occur overnight. It’s likely to be a long drawn-out affair…but like many worthwhile things in life, it’s worth your investment of time and effort.

And one more note of caution: While you are courting marquee clients, make sure you continue to add non-marquee clients to your customer base. It’s all about balance.