Not so different from boutique firms and independents competing against the big guys. Like Fred and Ginger, the best make it look effortless while working constantly on their footwork.
The key is to play to your strengths and highlight the things you deliver that the global behemoths can’t touch. For example:
Make technology work for you. Gone are the days when big meant the best technology. Small means nimble (not to mention you can squeeze a nickel until the buffalo screams.) Embrace new (cheaper) technology while the big guys waste months hammering it out in committee. You—if you’ve got the chutzpah—can now be first to market.
Inject your personality. You can afford to be a little cheeky in order to stand out. Don’t fall into the trap of saying “it’s our service, our people, our technology”. Blah, blah, blah. Show them instead. Let potential clients see you and your team as real people. Demonstrate who you are and what they can expect from you.
Put your stamp on everything. Whether you work solo or lead a group, make sure your beliefs and practices are woven into everything you do. Proposals. Social media interaction. Blogs. Referrals. Billing. Making calls. Responding to help requests. High touch means high regard (and deeper relationships).
So give it a try: release your inner Fred or Ginger.