So here’s a problem that holds so many data professionals back from launching or growing their own data management consulting business:
You suck at sales.
Actually, that’s not entirely true.
You THINK you suck at sales, which leads to a fear of failure, that in turn leads to inaction.
Your mind nags away at you, whispering plots of impending doom...
“You’ve got two kids and a mortgage - don’t throw away job security for something that is unpredictable and terrifying, you’ve NEVER had to go out and sell yourself before - you can’t do it - what if you start your own business and no-one signs up?”.
And so your inner conflict rages on, dreaming up ever more elaborate ways that your future business will end in failure.
You think of past scenarios where you had to sell something, anything, and you failed.
You think of the times you’ve been cold-pitched a product or service and how it always leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
It's not for you.
Having a business where you have to sell is a crazy idea because you hate selling.
It’s for all those ‘other data experts’, the natural born salespeople, the ones with all the right connections and years of experience.
I get it. I used to think like this too.
I put off launching a data management business because I hated the thought of selling.
I convinced myself I was too introverted, too shy, too inexperienced.
I thought back to the time I tried to sell car security in my teens and suffered the humiliation of repeated doors closed in my face before I even got to my crappy ‘elevator pitch’.
So I put off my dream of launching a personal business and settled into the comfort zone of a regular paycheck.
Then one day I created a data quality blog.
And people came to read about the tips and advice I posted.
Then I started to make offers and promotions for different products and services.
And guess what? People started to buy.
Sometimes it was a low-cost seminar, other times it was products costing tens of thousands.
All from a simple blog that cost practically nothing to run.
And it dawned on me: I didn't have to sell any of these solutions.
I created content and an environment that made it easy for people to buy.
And this is where so many people get stuck, they think they have to become a pushy salesperson to get new clients.
It's not about how hard you push.
It's about how well you pull.
Think about the last time you connected to someone on LinkedIn who instantly tried to cold pitch you data management services or products?
That felt crappy, right?
You weren't expecting that pitch, so it felt icky.
And that’s what most selling in our industry looks like. It's a numbers game - if you pitch enough people, eventually someone will buy.
Most people are pushing instead of pulling.
People push because they think that push-selling is faster, more direct, more impactful.
But for many, myself included, push-selling on people who are unaware of what you do just doesn't feel right.
It takes far too long and burns too much time.
Time that could be better spent serving your clients or hanging out with your kids.
It's also about playing to your strengths.
You're a data professional, not a 'natural born salesperson', so you've got to have a sales process that is straightforward and predictable to execute.
My sales process is now super-simple...
Build a niche audience through my content, messages and ideas
Attract ideal buyers who want to go deeper and take action to solve a specific problem
Align their challenges with the outcome of my coaching program via a structured sales call
Take the payment, deliver the service
So what would pull-selling look like for your data management consultancy?
It first starts with identifying your niche.
To build a successful data management consultancy, you need to attract a highly targeted niche audience who have a specific problem that you (or your team) are expertly positioned to solve.
Your niche content and messaging are going to attract this ideal audience, but you have to go one step further.
You have to stop positioning yourself as a ‘data management consultant’.
That’s too vague and meaningless to your target audience.
Think about it - there are tens of thousands of ‘data management specialists’.
(Not convinced? Type your professional title into LinkedIn and see how many results you get).
Instead, your title has to communicate the outcome you deliver.
For example, my title says what I do for my clients, not what I've learned as a data professional:
My profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dylanjones/
"I help data professionals create a thriving consultancy."
Your clients want their specific problem solved and all the associated pains eliminated so that's why you need to start thinking about packaging up a proposition that perfectly aligns to those pains.
(As an aside, when I work with coaching clients we don't guess what their client pains are, we perform research to dial it in - this gives my clients a massive advantage over competitors who can't be bothered with all this stuff).
Once you understand the need, you can then create an offer that focuses on a problem that a specific niche wants to solve.
You then need to offer a world-class solution for that one thing.
Yes, you heard that right, you're not offering a 'service' - you're creating a solution. A product effectively, because it has a clear outcome.
By focusing on one problem in one niche, it's much easier and faster for you to hone your skills and become best of breed.
And yes, you’ll alienate 99% of the marketplace because you've become so targeted.
But that one 1% - they’ll come running to your door.
They won't care how many years experience you have and what letters you have at the end of your name because your articles, webinars and value proposition will speak directly to THEM and THEIR problem like no-one else.
Your solution and messaging will be a perfect fit.
It will stand out in stark contrast to all those other data management experts who are still offering 'something for everyone' by throwing a 'great big net of services' out into the world and hoping for the best.
When you get this right, there is no selling to be done because customers will come to you, ready to buy.
Enough procrastinating, ready to put those New Year resolutions into action?
Would you like to develop your own pull strategy for selling data management services and make 2019 the breakthrough year for your consultancy?
Book a free breakthrough call today.
We'll talk about your challenges and goals, then discuss a plan for how to finally move forward and start attracting, closing and delivering to more of your ideal clients.
Slots are limited so book early: http://bit.ly/call-breakthrough