Start easy. Don’t try to crack the hardest nut first-don’t go straight for your competitor’s stronghold, try to provoke a decisive showdown, or focus efforts on the main contacts that support them. Instead, start from secure areas and work gradually outwards. Do this by extending your influence through your contact’s own networks. Go with, not against the grain of the corporate culture: first win the confidence of a few contacts, and then see who they work with within their own organization. Look for projects and cross-functional teams. Now win these people over. Soon enough, the showdown will come. But you will have a strong network within the prospect or client, and a trusted network at your back. Do it the other way around and no one will mourn your failure.
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