BizDev when there is no Conduit to Market

I have had some interesting conversations recently with various different folks who are all doing different types of business where the clients are in Financial Services.  They all break the simple textbook Product-Conduit-Market model.  This model is fine for selling your cornflakes in supermarkets perhaps but of little relevance in more consultancy-based businesses. For Financial Services perhaps most of the sellers into it have to build up their own contact list.  There are no real channels as such.

As I wrote last week the modern “Beyond Marketing and Selling” process is heavily dependent upon searching for and attracting leads.  This is even more vital when you and your firm “wearing out the shoe leather” is the “channel to market”.

Churchs shoe sole

So what is the secret to “21stC shoe leather” marketing?  For me the defining characteristic of the 21stC is busyness, overload.  Whether it’s you, your tribe/network (who will act as a quasi-channel in this context) or your clients.

As I wrote in Ten Fingers, Ten Toes, One Attention, Oh Dear folks’ attention is very precious and very limited. So especially if you need to be a hunter-gatherer for introductions to your target clients you need to have a well-crafted, succinct message.  Not just that but one that works.  One that is a key to opening doors.

The biggest mistake that folks make in smaller scale businesses is that they try and sell their stuff.  This is entirely wrong – I probably won’t understand your stuff and you will be far too interested in it (I know this as I made this mistake for a year or two last century).

Don’t market your stuff market the message.  You only “sell” (if we must use that word) your stuff after your “message to tribe” led to a referral to a potential client, and after your “message to potential client” led to a meeting.

So your message better be good.  Most people fail dismally.  It’s generally too long with an ever-growing trend of being too hyped.  In the Financial Services case – and many more professional markets – folks are a cynical bunch and either route is a route to disaster – there ain’t no free lunch going and even good ideas need to compete in a Darwinian struggle for life in an over-populated jungle of ideas.

My quick tip?

Take a lesson from the old-fashioned door-to-door brush salesman.  He would show his wares.  The message was visual.  Most of the brain’s perceptual processing is visual – if you activate those pathways you will have more of the brain on the case – it will be comprehended more and it will be remembered more.  School and exams led us down a narrow track of verbiage – may have been fine in a pre-pc, pre-email, pre-text age. But no more. We all have too many words in our head as it is.

How can you turn your “stuff” into 2 or 3 memorable pictures that folks will remember a week later?

Or do you have a fantasy that they will remember a lot of verbiage?



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