Do you struggle to pitch your data services and solutions?
Back when I was full-time editor of Data Quality Pro, I would get pitched data management products and services on a daily basis.
Problem was, even though many of the solutions actually turned out to be truly impressive, the exact opposite could be said about their ‘elevator pitch'.
I would sit patiently and let the data marketer explain their solution.
But 30 minutes later, I’d still be clueless as to what their product or service would do for our members.
Have you experienced this?
Now, I’m no stranger to data management. I’ve been in the trenches since 1993 doing this stuff.
I’ve hand-coded data quality tools that I took to market, delivered nationwide migration projects, led data quality teams, helped mega-vendors like Experian and SAS deliver content marketing to thousands of companies across the globe - I even coach data professionals and business owners on how to create a thriving data management consultancy or software biz.
But despite all this data heritage, more often than not, I’d be stumped by what I was being pitched.
Eventually, through plenty of coaxing and discovery, we’d both get there.
I would find the right ‘box' to put the vendor in.
But if it took a grizzled industry veteran that long, imagine the fate of the poor business prospect who stumbled across a pitch from these vendors?
How confused and alienated must they have felt with all the data-lingo they were being subjected to?
As a data solution provider, perhaps a consultancy or software biz, perhaps you also struggle to articulate your solution.
That blank stare, the nervous shuffling, the glance at the watch?
That “oh-shit” moment as you realise you’re ‘losing the audience’?
Incidentally, if you’re struggling to attract enough data management clients, I have the perfect coaching program, book a breakthrough call and let’s work through your blockers.
But if you want something quick, here’s the 3 little words that can help transform your communication:
“…which means that...”
Here’s how it works...
Think back to a recent prospect conversation that tanked.
How well did you frame your offering from the perspective of the target client?
Did you explain how the product or service would improve things for them and their team?
Or did you focus on your process, the steps, the method - the nuts and bolts of the data stuff you do.
Getting into the ‘data weeds’ is one of the biggest mistakes I see when people pitch their data services.
Because it’s the curse of knowledge, right?
You’re too close to the data stuff you deliver so you find it hard to step out and see it from a different perspective.
That 'business lens' that the customer sees their situation through.
Bloke walks into a store...
Let’s unpack this concept with the age-old story of the hole and the drill-bit.
You know, the one where a guy walks into a store to ask for a drill-bit because he thinks he needs a drill-bit, right?
But really he wants the outcome - a hole.
And yes, that’s a powerful outcome, and I drum this into my coaching clients all the time - outcomes are central to your data management sales and marketing.
But let’s go another level deeper...
What was the aspirational identity of the person drilling the hole?
What does the hole mean to them?
Do you see how it’s got the potential to play a part in a bigger story?
Because the guy buying the drill bit may want to be perceived by their spouse or family as someone who gets things done.
Side note: I recently bought one of those utility belts that you can hang all your tools off. Why? I justified the purchase on a logical need not to keep looking for stuff or climbing down ladders all the time. But deep down I wanted to feel like the Bear Grylls of home DIY. It worked, until I drilled through a power cable in the kitchen.
How does your service impact the CFO and their team?
What problems and pains does that service solve, for the company AND the prospect?
What's the outcome that you leave them with, beyond the reports and charts, lists and recommendations?
REMEMBER: How does your service help them achieve the aspirational identity they want to attain?
Do you make that type of connection in your communication? Do you bridge that gap?
That’s how those 3 magical words ‘…which means that…’ can really help you drive home the personal benefits of your service.
Sprinkle them in for a bit of magic...
“We deliver the BCBS239 audit for you -which means that you and your team don't have to suffer a huge drop in productivity from what can be an intensive exercise if carried out internally.
But what’s really valuable is that we use ground-breaking technology to automatically link your disparate systems together to discover and fix the broken processes within your risk aggregation reporting process,which means that you’re not only assuring the regulator that as a CFO you’ve got your act together, but you’re actually driving huge operational efficiencies that can be traced directly to your leadership”
Ok, so you'd need to word it based on your own solution but do you see how that raises the value of your solution outcome?
You’re no longer ‘delivering an audit’ - you’re making them look like a rockstar.
You’ve appealed to their aspirational identity.
And as much as we think execs and senior managers buy stuff for the good of the company, deep down it’s always personal reasons that take precedence.
Whether it's a DIY tool-belt or a data management audit, it's always personal.
So make sure you dangle the carrot and explain why, by working with, you they get to survive and thrive in their role of leader.
Action step: Go back over your elevator pitch, articles and marketing blurb (if you have it) and see where you’re making a personal connection to the pain and suffering faced by your target audience. See where you can drop those 3 magical words into the conversation and watch the transformation it creates in your prospects and clients.
Did you have big plans for your data management business in 2019 but things have stalled?
Has your prospecting pipeline dried up?
Do you keep putting back those launch plans 'until the time is right' but deep down you lack confidence and direction?
Hope is not a strategy.
Take positive action by booking a breakthrough call with me, right now (it's free, but slots are limited).
We'll work through the challenges you're facing in your data biz and put a clear plan together for how to make 2019 your breakthrough year.
Reserve a slot: http://bit.ly/breakthrough-call
PS. I only release a few slots each week so it's first-come-first-served.