The Relentless Marketer: Maximize That First Big Client




By Bill Robinson

When Pavel Tcherkashin persuaded Microsoft to hire his two-year-old company, Actis Systems, to build its Russian Website, he was overjoyed. Winning a client with such high marquee value had been a daunting sales goal for a small E-business solutions provider in an emerging economy. "'Aim high,' I've always said, but Microsoft, I thought, might have been aiming a little too high for a small Russian start up," says Tcherkashin.

Tcherkashin could have made the mistake of building his business around that single big customer. But, like a true relentless marketer, he wasn't content with just one major player -- even if it was Bill Gates. Once Tcherkashin was confident that Microsoft was satisfied with his work, he sought permission to mention its name in his marketing campaign, so he could attract the attention of other large firms that wanted to build a Web presence in Russia. Microsoft said yes. Soon, Samsung, Canon, Symantec, Philips, Bosch and others were lining up to hire him. Actis, which has 200 employees, can barely keep up with the demand. It hires a good 20 employees a month.

As one might expect, Tcherkashin isn't content to stay local. Actis, which is in the process of raising expansion capital, will soon open its first two international offices. His goal is to attract even more heavy-hitting customers from around the world. That's what being a relentless marketer is all about.