The term “success begets success” rings true nowhere more than in a startup situation. Demonstrating early success builds momentum that works like the law of attraction to bring you the right customers for your early stage and the right people to help you pull it off.
Maybe you were a technical pro at the company you left to start your upstart. Your technical skills may translate well but pulling off similar feats of brilliance as when you were a part of that large, well-funded team requires that you duplicate the entire team in some fashion. So, the fact that your technical competence is recognized means that potential buyers only need to research and evaluate every other aspect of your new enterprise.
Whether it’s a brand new business or a new offering at your existing company, attaching “new” to anything causes understandable pause with potential customers. In business, new often means risk and buyers of anything have a plethora of sources for advice, references, and ratings to find what you sell. Of course, prudent buying dictates that your fulfillment experience should weigh heavily in such decisions. And you don’t yet rate.
Be glad that you haven’t been reduced to a series these of seemingly arbitrary scores of one-to-five stars, random “likes” or a thread of inane discussions that will follow your new endeavor forever. For when you write an unabridged dictionary-sized website and prove your worth in cyberspace with “content” and wait for the “right” prospects to fall over it, you get what comes to you. And, perhaps, that’s all you deserve.
The buyers that find you are viewing you as one of many vendors and are evaluating you on their criteria. Sure, it’s easy to process a bunch of inbound leads and hope you get your first few deals by beating existing providers on price. But this group of prospects will require seemingly unlimited proof of your startup’s ability to perform, draining resources and stretching your sales cycle. All depending on what you sell, you could find yourself in a relatively unprofitable situation having built your business chasing disparate requests and customers because taking their order was pretty easy.
Elephant hunting means “Go get the business that you want.” You designate key [big] accounts that meet your requirements in terms of proper business alignment and implementing a plan to sell to them. Getting into these accounts early will give you valuable market information for refining your offering and, once won, you are more assured of making money.
The biggest value of winning an industry leading key account is the leverage you get in future business development. If you have a large sophisticated buyer and are able to promote that in even the smallest way, others’ perceived risk of using you is much lower. Hence, you will avoid many of the time consuming due diligence questions when prospects can say, “Brand X wouldn’t be dealing with them if they were incapable.”
While cranking up your part-time content creation business is unavoidable in this day of wait-and-see selling, attacking key accounts early and consistently will serve to create your company’s destiny and build the future you want for your enterprise.
[And that phone’s not going to pick up itself.]