One of the biggest questions asked by entrepreneurs, consultants and executive coaches today is: “How can I get in front of more corporate decision makers?”
That’s a great question to ask because landing big corporate clients basically comes down to solving these three challenges:
- Having enough decision makers to talk to.
- Getting them to enthusiastically want talk to you.
- Having the right conversation at the right time in the process, when you do get the opportunity to talk to them.
Sounds simple enough. Yet ask the vast majority of experienced consultants, executive coaches, experts, and other professional services providers and they’ll tell you they’re still stuck on challenge No. 1.
That’s because despite the never-ending fanfare about social media and content marketing, the reality is that coveted decision makers are quite insulated, both in terms of gatekeepers, as well as where they get their trusted information from.Remember: Big thinkers meet in small rooms. Click To TweetAbove all else, they still turn to a small circle of colleagues, respected centers of influence (think: industry associations, exclusive councils, top industry media outlets, etc.), and a few outside trusted advisors (who knew how to get to them).
So, the real question becomes: How can you, as a consultant, coach or professional services provider, become part of those trusted “inner circles,” so you can get to the decision makers and, ultimately, sell your expert services to more clients?
That’s exactly the conversation I had during a podcast interview on UNLEASHED, when host Will Bachman and I took a deep dive into how to address the three challenges I outlined above for winning corporate clients.
Going in The Side Door By Leveraging Centers of Influence
One of the key strategies I shared during the podcast is how to go in through a “side door,” i.e. gaining access to your target decision makers, by leveraging their existing, trusted centers of influence.
This is a tactic you can use even if you’re just starting out in your business or if you are changing directions. In fact, this is a must-do strategy in both of those cases, when your own Rolodex is still a bit thin.
However, the key when partnering with a center of influence is to create a high-value, interactive experience that is a win-win-win: a win for them; a win for their members or audience; and a win for you.
13 Types of Interactive Experiences to Get to Decision Makers
While I couldn’t cover this full list in the podcast, here are 13 of our favorite interactive experiences that we recommend to our clients, especially when partnering with a center of influence:
- Executive roundtables
- Executive briefings
- Best-practice hacking sessions
- Success showcases
- Power breakfasts
- Power lunches
- Fireside chats
- Breakout sessions
- Panel discussions
- Interactive labs
- Ask-the-expert forums
- Live demos
These types of experiences work because they provide high value, high engagement and high exclusivity.
I go into more insight on why this type of approach works best in the full podcast interview, “How Small Businesses Can Land Big Clients,” including:
- Practical steps for getting in front of your target corporate audience, even if you’re not yet well-established.
- Why your choice of topics is critical, and how to avoid speaking in generalizations.
- How to take on a valuable supporting role in company knowledge sharing.
- Why you should avoid most of the common activities currently being used in the online marketing space.
You can listen to the full episode and view the show notes here: Angelique Rewers on UNLEASHED