Expert Panel, Forbes Coaches Council
In today’s global business world, small businesses compete right alongside bigger corporations. Due to the internet and myriad tools at the ready, smaller businesses have more than enough resources to successfully compete with their larger competitors.
But how do you show a potential customer that your company not only has the same resources and credibility as major competitors, but can give them something extra that they would not receive with larger companies?
1. Show, Don't Tell
The mantra of "show, don't tell" holds true here. In the technology sector, the best bet to illustrate your credibility is by providing case studies of current or former clients. If that is not available, demonstration of skill set is a good alternative: think webinars, tutorials, etc. Ultimately, credibility is proven by results. Show results and your credibility will grow. - Kamyar Shah, World Consulting Group
2. Share Your Story
Indeed it starts with a job well done. Sprinkle in a client testimonial, a brilliant case study and a client referral and you are well on your way. But do not stop there. Find creative and fun ways to share your company, client and personal story. It is through stories that we all connect. Have fun and take time to create alignment between what you do and who you are with your story. - Alexsys "Lexy" Thompson, Trybal Performance
3. Become A Partner Not A Vendor
Anyone can be a vendor, but it takes a special level of knowledge and connection to be a partner. Know your clients inside and out and work with them to achieve their goals as if they are your own because, in reality, their success is yours as well. Nothing beats a good reputation of being a trusted and engaged partner. It will spread far and fast regardless of your size. -Tonya Echols, Thrive Coaching Solutions
4. Become More Customer-Focused
Build a community of customers who would benefit from your product. Actively engage them with your product through multiple channels. Listen to what they are saying. Use your ability to be agile by creating incremental improvements, helping your customers benefit from the personal relationship. As demand increases, you will scale much better by being tightly connected with them. - Alan Trivedi, Trivedi Coaching & Consulting Group
5. Build Great Case Studies
Being able to articulate actual ROI is the secret ingredient to winning business. They are more concerned with your ability to deliver results than they are about your company size. If you don't possess the skills, hire someone to help you document case studies from recent engagements. Send them to a graphic designer for polish and then use them as part of your business development efforts. - Trellis Usher, T.R. Ellis Group LLC
6. Record And Publish Powerful Testimonials
My small business gathers a handful of testimonials from the heart each year online. Even if we do not compete in scope and breadth of outplacement services, I know our boutique reputation wins the day against our national competitors. It is one small way we drive home our message of very personalized and individualized services. It differentiates us in our bids and contracts versus the bigs. - John M. O'Connor, Career Pro Inc.
7. Personalize The Partnership
Always cover the capabilities, show innovative thinking, have a bank of reliable contractors at the ready, proactively address feasibility questions and demonstrate past success. A decision to partner stems from a trusted relationship and whether the players feel this company has their best interest in mind. Show up in person. Connect often. Add extra sparkle. Write a friendly personal proposal. - Joanne Markow, GreenMason
8. Believe In Yourself
Don't apologize for being small in your own head, or to anyone else. Tell the truth about what you can do. Share examples of past success. Gather testimonials from satisfied customers. If you know what you are doing, look like it online. Develop a polished and professional online presence, especially your website. Stress strengths: customized solutions and personalized service. Be proud. Be bold. - Gary Bradt, Bradt Leadership, Inc.
9. Be No. 1 At Something
Our app consistently ranks at No.1 for the keyword "creativity" in the Apple App Store. That's because we've focused on a niche and keyword optimization. As a result, we're regularly featured by Apple over much bigger companies. So take one specific benefit or feature and be the best at that. Write expert articles and invest in search engine optimization. Aim to be at the top of any search. - Gabriella Goddard, Brainsparker Leadership Academy
10. Practice The Upgrade
Small companies can compete with larger companies when they have added value to the customer that larger companies either won't do or do not care to do. Adding extra value or giving upgrades are memorable and appreciated. Every small company should think, "How can I upgrade this customer?" Small companies should consider what special added value can be given to show the customer they care. - Ken Gosnell, CEO Experience
©2019 Forbes Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.