Winning a major client can transform your business – but if you are not properly prepared it could be the breaking of your company. Nevil Tynemouth runs down the questions to ask before you go big-game hunting
A lot of businesses are looking for a major client. Many struggle to find one, but for others it’s the wrong goal altogether. Before you set off on the hunt for one, your company should ask itself some simple questions.
What is a major client?
It sounds obvious, but what is a major client for you? Is it someone who places a significant order? Maybe you’re thinking of the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, that 80 per cent of turnover can come from 20 per cent of clients. Or is it a household name or showcase client that would help you with reflected brand status?
Do we want a major client?
A discussion on obtaining major clients is needed. Many organisations can suffer significantly by winning one. Stop and think – are we ready for a major client? If current capability, suppliers or processes don’t work effectively this can cause significant and permanent damage. You need to gain some clarity in this area before you make a decision and communicate it to your team.
Who should be involved in this process?
Look at what you need to do to win and service a major client. Is your marketing – including social media and website – aimed at major clients? Do your sales teams have the tools to win them?
Do your product and service delivery teams have the robust processes, systems and personnel to support major clients? So, already you need to get your marketing, sales and processes and logistics people involved in this decision.
How does it look from the perspective of a major client? Most businesses underestimate how much is needed in this area – but equally they underestimate how much they have already done.
What are the major barriers that will hold you back from winning major clients and how do you get round them?
- Have a clear vision of what major clients you are looking for
- Communicate your strategy and vision across every team
- Look at your company from a major client’s perspective – and ask yourself if you are ready
- Don’t get held back by personal comfort zones, fears or out of date beliefs
- Create simple metrics and track actions to check your progress. As the old saying goes “what gets measured gets done”
Winning a major client is far simpler than most directors and businesses appreciate. Often it’s just a matter of putting some plans in place and getting your teams focused on the key outcomes.
Your role as a director? Support your teams, encourage them and share the tools and approaches that will engage the directors of the major clients you are chasing.
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