Leann Webb, Business CatalystHave you ever had a client tell you that you’re too big for them? Or over qualified?

I’m well known for working on the tenders and submissions of major projects and working with the biggest companies in Australia. Unfortunately, I have found in the past that this has meant that I’ve been overlooked for the smaller jobs with the smaller companies. “This is a just a little job. You’re too big for me!” is what they said. Perhaps you have heard it too.

Well, this is probably my only opportunity to liken myself to an Olympian, so I’m going to take it:

You could think of me like an Olympic runner. Sure, an Olympic runner is famous for being able to compete – and WIN – at the highest level against the toughest competition and under the most pressure. But, in order to have that success, they will have a lifetime of broad experience. For example, they will 000’s of kilometres under their legs running on the local roads, at the local school oval, throughout the city, in every city they’ve ever visited even on holidays, from school competitions in their younger days to recent fun runs, and State, National and other international competitions…

And they will have a network of amateur and professional colleagues, from the local running club to the world’s best competitors and the most experienced coaches.

And they will have worked almost every conceivable strategy for success with different fitness programs, nutrition plans and training methodologies, and all directed to different levels of experience and phases of competing.

The bottom line is: if you are capable of winning a major competition, you have put in the hard yards at every level along the way. And if you know how to develop the strategy to win an Olympic race, you will surely know how to win the local fun run.

So, what can you do to position yourself as more approachable and accessible for ‘the little guys’?

1. Include a balance of jobs in your case studies to demonstrate experience at all levels
2. Include a balance of clients in your client list to demonstrate clients of all sizes
3. Include testimonials for smaller clients to show you understand their needs and deliver results for them
4. Check your jargon and terminology to ensure it fits with all levels of client
5. Show how your delivery methodologies are adaptable and flexible depending on the size of client or project
6. Show how your team works to understand each client’s needs and priorities and adapts your services to hit the mark
7. Have pricing options that make your services appealing to all budgets
8. Provide training and up-skilling options as these are often highly valued by smaller clients
9. Inspire clients to strive for the next level
10. Show clients that you will be with them for the long-haul.

At the end of the day, you need to convey to clients that your expertise is relevant and will help them achieve their goals.

Leann Webb

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