If your company doesn’t have a recognized brand I will guarantee you that your selling cycle is longer than necessary as your sales process grinds to a halt while you endeavor to establish credibility. Even after enduring the good fight, when all is said and done you likely end-up making frequent price concessions in order to win business. You are most probably sick and tired of dealing with repeated requests for references and explaining why someone should take the risk of doing business with an unproven entity. It’s not enough to know you’re good, your prospects have to know it…the battle cry of “trust me” will only take you so far in today’s market place. In today’s post I’ll share the best method for establishing instant credibility with your prospects…

If you’re a small or early stage company or a solo professional services provider you’ll be all too familiar with the scenario described in the opening paragraph above. However there is an almost instant fix to your problem…Nothing and I mean nothing adds instant credibility like being able to say that Apple, Bank of America, Disney or other name brand businesses are counted amongst your clientele. While there can be considerable revenue associated with landing the big account, the real value comes in the ripple effect of being able to leverage their brand equity into increasing yours…

The key to acquiring your first brand name client is being willing to get extremely aggressive at every stage of the sales process. If you have to discount or even give away the business do just exactly that…After all, you’ve likely discounted pricing to attract a small account why wouldn’t you do it to land Wal-Mart? Just imagine how much money you’d have to spend in marketing, advertising and PR to create the same perception that landing Microsoft as a client would create…This will certainly go a long way in offsetting any price concessions that you may have to make.

While the 800 pound guerilla may tax your infrastructure and require you to make commitments you’re not used to making, if you can land the account I liken it to watching the first domino starting to fall. Not only will it be much easier to land small accounts when you have a brand name client, but it will also be easier to attract other big brands as well.

Bottom line…profile and target key accounts with recognizable brands that will add value to your business and your brand. Develop a sales strategy for winning the business and begin the process of landing your first brand name account. The sooner you start the faster you’ll find the power curve in your selling process start to shift in your favor. Good luck and good selling…