“Multiple” is Meaningful, with Commercial Design Contacts
When you work with large commercial clients, focus on the quantity as well as quality of your contacts.
Le’s say, for years you work with a big client– a firm responsible, say, for hospitals, or banks or shopping malls.
The design projects and the orders and the money keep pouring in. You couldn’t be happier.
One day, your key contact — the person who brought you in – - quits.
The company never hires you again.
Whose fault is that?
It’s great to have a key contact at a corporate client. But that’s not enough.
A key contact can get reassigned.
Or get fired.
If you haven’t connected with others at the firm, then see ya later.
You’re gone, too.
Your future with a corporate client depends on how many people in the company you know — and how many know you.
In this era of downsizing, outsourcing, turnover and change, it pays to “go deep” within the company.
Some tips on how to to do that:
Seek contacts from your contact — Ask the person who brought you in for names of others you should know.
Aim high — Request that all of the senior managers and vice presidents attend initial brainstorming sessions.
Gab with the Gatekeepers — Network with office managers, secretaries, executive assistants and others in tune with daily operations.
Bond with the Brass — Seek onging input throughout the project from top decisionmakers .
Play Pool — Set up your “next shot” by discussing additional projects and other services you can provide.
You can never know too many people within the company.
Fred Berns is an interior design industry business coach.