Yesterday I had a breakthrough in a project I have been working on for a while. The objective was a simple sales objective, to reach as many clients as possible with an offer.
The same ideas that apply to selling, apply to any objective you have which you want to scale and make big, like my objective to have an exponential impact Ocean Sustainability.
Clients are particularly resilient to offers nowadays, and it is important to show the value they can get from your offer. And even so it is difficult to convince them to at least listen to you!
You start with the low hanging fruits of the potential clients who are already in your network. They know you and they will hopefully listen to you. Then you pass to people who you don’t know and might have heard of you and your company in the past. They also might listen because of the brand you have or represent. And on and on with people who less and less know of you and care about what you have to offer.
Value in the offer is obviously essential, particularly in a B2B setting where vanity has no room at all (it might be argued that vanity is itself the value in some industries, but certainly not in maritime!)
But if you stick only to value and go to potential clients one by one, you will be slowly depleting your network and progressing along a curve of diminishing returns.
What else should you do then? The second component to increase your impact is leverage. That is, offer your value not just to one client at a time, but find ways to reach many more in one go. Nothing new here, you know you should get an audience to whom present your offer. And you’ve gone through all the traditional tools to increase your exposure, either in person with a stand at a trade fair, or virtually, with a webinar or a video.
The issue with these approaches is that the attention that you receive from your potential customers dramatically drops, and you might end up talking to 200 webinar attendees, but have an impact that is less than talking to just one single client in person.
Another direction that you could explore and that is nothing new, is partnerships with connectors, that is people or organisations with a network of relevant leads for your offer. In principle this is a great idea, however it is difficult to make it work because of the role of the connector. What is their role and objective? is it aligned with yours? What is their credibility to present or introduce you and your offer to their network? And their incentive to do so?
Think of industry associations, network brokers, large organisations addressing the same customer base. They seem to be potentially interesting partners/connectors. However the question remains, what’s in it for them? Sure, serving their network seems to be a great answer. But is this aligned with their business model or their ability to engage with the network?
The breakthrough happens when you can find a client who
- will directly benefit from your offer AND
- has a network of potential customers to whom they can introduce you after you have proven to them the value of your offer.
It’s the magic of having a client with a network, who then becomes your evangelist.
It’s the best form of leverage, when your lever actually wants to work with you because they have seen your results first hand. If they did not or they do not need what you have to offer, you are just trying to use them as a conduit, but this might even turn to be counterproductive.
Where can you find your evangelists? What value can you offer them?
Be creative, they might hide in plain sight and you might have been considering them just as normal prospects!
10x your impact with Value X Leverage but choose your leverage wisely!
I am a changemaker helping CEOs, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and great organisations achieve an exponential impact on Ocean Sustainability and Decarbonisation, acting as a trusted advisor, sounding board, consultant.
If you want to 10x your impact on Ocean Sustainability and Decarbonisation lets’ talk, you can reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org