You’re a smaller provider of knowledge-based business services. You’ve won a couple of great assignments and now it’s dried up. The people you’ve been dealing with have been shuffled and you don’t know their new bosses.
Your contacts don’t want to introduce you to their bosses. If you take out your elephant gun and track down their bosses, you’ll probably be blocked for being a poacher. How do you hunt when you’re in tall grass?
This is a true jungle story. My client was thrilled when I helped them win a succession of projects within one division of an international finance firm.
Two years later, the top people who had championed my client have moved on and the implementation team for whom my client has been doing work insist they have decision-making power. My client is reduced to submitting pricing under an existing contract and having no input into strategic discussions with the executive committee.
Have you been there? In large firms an “account development” team maintains contact with executive committee members while another group delivers the work. The “development” team continues to create entree at executive levels to avoid getting trapped in tall grasses.
Smaller businesses need to do the same thing: continue developing access inside each line of business or division while delivering services to a company.
Happily, Big Game Hunting was hard at work doing just that and now my client has interest from other divisions for their services. Had that not been the case, my client’s standing as a preferred services provider with that international finance firm might have lapsed and they might very well have ended up out in the cold again.
Do you have stories to share? Let me know.