We all know the reason ICBC—the world’s largest company—hasn’t engaged you. Your Chinese vocabulary ends at “dim sum.” Plus, they’ve never heard of you. Other than that, I have no doubt ICBC executives would demand you provide them consulting services at an exorbitant fee.
But why aren’t you winning projects from all the divisions, departments and branches of your current clients? After all, that’s where your easiest prospects reside and you speak their language (presumably). To answer that, let’s turn to a centenarian’s birthday bash.
When my grandfather turned 100, the whole family got together for a party. Families do this. Someone gets old and the rest of us celebrate by eating. One of my aunts told me that while she mingled at the party a woman turned to her and queried, “Who are you? Are you someone I should know?” To which my aunt replied, “I should certainly hope so. We’ve been sisters-in-law for over 50 years.”
Clients are like family. And just like family, it’s surprisingly common to not know close relatives. Or, in this case, close colleagues. So, it turns out the reason you’re not getting more work from your current clients is the same reason you’re not getting work from ICBC. You don’t speak Chinese. They don’t know you. (Or like my aunt, they don’t remember/think of you, which is effectively the same as not being known.)
The Know Pillar* is, of course, the gateway to opportunity. The more you are known, the greater the pool of prospective clients who could call on you to solve their pressing problems. Hence, you publish, give speeches, connect on LinkedIn, and employ myriad other strategies to build your presence in the world.
The Law of Being Known applies equally to current clients. Perhaps even more, since winning follow-on business is typically much easier than securing engagements with new clients.
Many tried-and-true marketing practices adapt nicely once you’re inside an organization. Below are eight, particularly effective strategies for becoming more known inside current clients.