As entrepreneurs, we know that working with companies
who are bigger than we are can catapult our businesses.
We strive to win accounts with big name clients and
aspire to collaborate with leaders in our industries
because they have the clout and the cash.
In truth, it really isn’t that difficult to wrangle
larger, more established contacts into your sales
pipeline or support network, but you need to have some
critical components lined up first.
After all, they have more to lose than you do. If they
work with you, partner with you, hire you, or give you
money, there's a risk to that. A big part of your job
will be to decrease the perceived risk to them.
Here are two areas to focus on:
First, showcase your abilities.
When you start contacting prospects or potential
partners, if they don’t know you already, they’re going
to want to check you out before they respond. They want
to read about your background, understand your
experience and get a level of comfort that you can
actually do what you are promising. Are you the real
deal? Will working with you diminish their reputation?
Your website, blog and social networking pages should
be filled with content that puts you in the best light.
You want to show why you’re the best person for them to
be working with, that you have the expertise and the
Articles you’ve written, interviews of you in the
media, and case studies of your work are invaluable. On
the other hand, an incomplete LinkedIn profile, a
homemade website, or an “About Us” page that doesn’t
include information about you or the other principals
in the company doesn’t help your case one bit.
Second, solicit help from your network.
Nothing sells you better than someone else doing the
selling. Collect client testimonials and post them on
your website. Get permission to use their full name and
company rather than just initials. This lends a lot to
the credibility of your endorsers.
Your network can also be helpful in making
introductions to key people within your target
companies. Use LinkedIn to find which of your contacts
may be connected to decision makers, influencers and
buyers within the companies you want to work with, and
ask them directly if they would be comfortable making a
phone call or sending an email on your behalf.
You want potential clients and partners to be receptive
to hearing from you when you contact them and an
introduction from a trusted mutual contact can go a
With online communications making it so easy to do
business outside our immediate geographic boundaries,
and often with people we’ve never met face-to-face,
it’s important that you build a strong case for
yourself so you can compete effectively for these
What you share about yourself online, and what others
can say about you can boost your credibility immensely
and help you get through to that larger, more
established players more quickly and more successfully.
© 2010 Liz Lynch. All Rights Reserved
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"Liz Lynch, business development strategist and author
of ‘Smart Networking: Attract a Following In Person and
Online,’ teaches entrepreneurs and professionals how to
get 24/7 networking results WITHOUT the 24/7 effort.
Get her Smart Networking Toolkit at