Randy Shattuck is an advisor to mid-sized professional services firms. These firms are big enough to have a dedicated marketing team but not have a dedicated sales team. In these organisations, the Experts get help but ultimately they need to catch their own dinner.
Randy is worth listening to across the board but I was particularly struck by the two ideas below, both of which I have tried and failed to express clearly to our clients in the past.
The first is that 'Pre-suasion' - as Dr. Cialdini puts it - is becoming increasingly important. Get your stakeholder on-side before you meet - and use content to do it. At our previous business, we would have to fly around the world to meet with the key people. If the meeting went well it might be a half million dollar contract - or nothing if not. A very stressful, and not efficient, way to do business. Much better to butter them up in advance!
The second and connected point is that you can use Thought Leadership to 'filter out the wrong clients'. I like his idea of the 'wrong clients' but it suggests that they are wrong for everyone. Certainly there are horrible companies with horrible cultures, but mostly it is simply that your world-view's do not mesh.
In business, as in friendship, it often easier to work with those who share your values (if not opinions). Companies who align will be drawn towards you, others may be repelled - by your thoughtful, industrious and pleasant chat! But then, did you want them anyway?
I suspect not.
THE TRUSTED ADVISOR LINE HAS SHIFTED Here are two key concepts I believe you need to fully grasp to fill up your sales pipeline: The trusted advisor line has shifted to before the sale. Thought leadership content helps you filter out the wrong clients.