Sales DevelopmentSales TipsSmall Business Advice

The Sunday Show: Avoid the Earn-It Trap

By February 13, 2011January 4th, 2016No Comments

Weights tied to a persons legs

This Sunday’s Show features another problem you can create when you’re thinking and feeling small.  I call it the “earn-it” trap.  It’s the idea that you should take a too-small or too-cheap piece of work for a big company in the hopes of earning the right to more  business later.  In my clients’ experience, this usually proves to be a tactic that fails.

It fails especially if you are doing business with a local or regional arm of a national or international company.  Take a restaurant chain, for example.  If you do a local marketing campaign for, say, TacoBell, the odds of your getting a corporate account with TacoBell are exceedingly slim.  The local marketing people can’t take you into corporate, and the corporate people don’t work with the “small” agencies who work for their franchisees or regional managers.

If you like your contract with the local TacoBell–if it’s big enough to fit your Target Filter, if it’s fair, and if it’s profitable–then by all means do it.  Just don’t think of it as a stepping stone to get to corporate.  And don’t kid yourself that you ought to take work that doesn’t meet your target criteria just in the hopes of getting more later.  It only invites the customer to keep you in that “small fry” niche.

So here’s this week’s podcast: The Earn-it TrapI hope it will help start your week with renewed resolve to set your sights on bigger deals with bigger customers. What tips do you have for keeping your company focused on thinking big and acting big–and working on bigger sales?