How to Beat The Big Guys in New BusinessWhether your business is small, medium, or large, everything is relative.

You’ll more than likely find yourself competing for a piece of business against someone who is bigger than you are, and has more resources at their disposal.

Some of the best ideas come from outside of your industry, and this article in Inc. Magazine directed at PR agencies, provided six tips to compete against the big boys. The ideas apply equally well to automotive manufacturing or any other industry, for that matter.

Business development is business development. It doesn’t matter in which industry you are jockeying for position. The bottom line is to play smart, play on your strengths, and truly (and meaningfully) differentiate yourself.

Seven Tips to Compete Against the Big Guys

  • Know the customer. This should go without saying. Know your customer and the industry, and demonstrate a strong understanding of their business.
  • Don’t standardize your process. Sure, you’ll have templates, and shouldn’t have to re-create the wheel with every new business proposal you create. But no situation is ever exactly the same. Do the research about your target, and customize your approach.
  • Take a position. This is risky, and you might lose business for it. But you’ll win more for the same reason. Stand for something and stand for it fearlessly. You know your industry better than the potential customer or client. If you have a better solution for them, let them know. You know what they need more than they do.
  • Bring the right people with you. Get creative with the team you bring to make your presentation. Don’t overload with business development and executive team but bring the people who will be building and/or designing the equipment or actually working on the account.
  • Build a relationship. This is from the Dale Carnegie days. Learn something about your potential customer(s) and try to find some common ground that breaks the ice such as a common alma mater you attended, or a mutual connection. People want to do business with people they like. Find that common ground.
  • Bring solutions, not sales techniques. To the point of number three above, bring solutions for your customer. They don’t want to be sold to, they have problems that need solving. How can your product or service make their lives or their jobs better?
  • Show your capabilities. We'll add one final point here that wasn't included in the article. Be ready to address concerns you aren’t big enough to service your prospects' needs. Anticipate the questions and be prepared.

These little things are what will differentiate you from your larger competitors. You don’t have to be big to win big business.

What do you think? Have you won a piece of business against a much larger competitor? Tell us about it.

Thanks to smallbizio for the image.