Better to be known for something than for nothing. One of the key parts of my Lead Generation Master Class workshops is to get people to focus on their ideal client and why their ideal client REALLY needs to speak to them. So many people struggle with generating leads NOT because they are highly talented but because they are just like everyone else.
One evening I met with David, an IT consultant who had a lot of valuable experience but was not getting the sort of work he wanted. The trouble is that he was very unspecific as to the work he wanted to attract. The work he wanted was just better paid work!!! We spent a couple of hours looking at where his passion was and his biggest area of credibility and it turned out that SMS technology was an area that David excelled in, and specifically in relation to integrating SMS reminders into office based systems. He had enough experience to build up one or two stories and we agreed a compelling ‘elevator pitch’. It took David just 12 hours to find his first big lead through networking. It was through a web designer that was getting a lot of requests for SMS technology and needed a specialist associate.
I had assured David that even though he would specialise in terms of his introduction, it did not mean that he would not pick up work in other areas. Once he had won his first sale he could-cross sell and up-sell other services. I met David a month later and he had a big grin across his face as he shook my hand. It turned out that even though he introduced himself as an SMS specialist when networking, people he met started discussing their IT projects with him and he was finding that SMS was just a small part of the projects he was winning!! It was very bizarre that before David began to specialise he did not get these types of conversations.
This experience is an example of what I call ‘Box Theory’. Its human nature for people you meet to want to put you in a box in their mind. You can either choose the box they put you in or leave it to chance. If you are an accountant you probably go in the accountant box. When people have a need or are asked to recommend someone they go and look at the most appropriate box. If you are a life coach, you go into the life coach box. If you are friendly then perhaps you will be closer to the top of the box but there are a lot of friendly people around! The more specialised your box is, the more likely you are to get recommended for that need rather than just being one of many. Whether you think it is right or wrong to put people in boxes is TOTALLY irrelevant. Like it or not it is happening – Its just human nature!
So what box do you think people are putting you in? What would be a better box for you? Instead of being in the accountant box, perhaps you could be in the ‘Helping small businesses save money’ box. Instead of the life coach box, perhaps you could be in the ‘Helping women to balance their lives’ box. Make sure the box is fairly unique and is about what your clients want rather than what you do.
I find that a lot of consultants that have a number of propositions try to summarise and come up with a common theme. That’s ok for a mission or a tag line but not very good for lead generation. Rather than summarise you need to specialise. Think rifle rather than blunderbuss. Think laser rather than light bulb. Think box!