I had a great interview with B2B expert Barbara Weaver Smith, president and founder of The Whale Hunters. We talked about how big companies and women have similar buying processes. Feedback on the call was awesome.
If you missed the call, you can listen to the recording. Register for The Whale Hunters' FREE Pier9 Basic membership to access the call. Register here. One of the teleconference attendees shared an amazing story with me after the call which I'd like to share with you.
The power of references - How a small company landed a big client
Todd Rimer is the Principal and Director of Business Development at CN Design & Marketing, located in Anderson, Indiana . CN Design & Marketing serves clients in the areas of branding and rebranding, the introduction of new services and products, the expansion into new markets, and with aggressive growth and promotion.
Here's Todd's story:
Last year, not long after we officially made the leap from a start-up to a legitimate small business, we set our sights on the next phase of our growth and development. We decided to make the commitment to focus our efforts on catching larger, more substantial accounts. This was not a step we took lightly. We knew that in order to earn our biggest project to date, we would have to step up our game.
Our challenge was to showcase the differentiators that would help us stand out from our competition and clearly define the unique advantages of working with our company. This preparation soon proved beneficial when we had the opportunity to meet with a local logistics company, one of the largest private companies in our county, for the right to redesign their Web site.
One of the defining factors in landing this account was to showcase our capabilities in handling the scope of their large project. We were able to eliminate their fear by offering them our full client list, for them to call – showcasing the breadth of our projects while clearly stating that we deliver what we promise by not hiding behind a limited list of references that we choose to provide.
If you are a small business looking to expand into deeper waters, be sure to handle all of your customers with integrity, honesty and fairness. Larger companies will “vet” your business and the more you can back up your words with real actions, the better the chance you have to grow into more substantial accounts.
Wow - talk about powerful. Would you be willing to offer your ENTIRE client list as a reference for work? And what if a prospective client called every client on that list? Would every single one give you a glowing review? If the answer is yes, consider using this powerful tool. It will give you a competitive edge over big companies that cannot offer something similar.
The other reason offering up the entire client list worked was because it addressed the big company's fear. The B2B research project The BuyerSphere Project noted that - "B2B buying decisions are usually driven by one emotion - fear. 99% of B2B buying is about covering your butt."
For more information on the role of fear and other insights into the mind of the B2B buyer, read how B2B businesses and women have a similar buying process.