Competing against in-house staff (Q&A)

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Next question in the Q & A series comes from Adam.

He wants to know how you market services to companies that already have staff dedicated to the particular problem you solve.

"For example, a mid-sized government contracting company is bidding on a new government contract. They have at least one person who is labeled the 'business development manager', yet this company could benefit from your expert 'contract winning' services. How do you tell the company 'I know you already have someone doing this, but we do it better' in a way that the contracting companies are likely to hear and be receptive to? This question applies to any company that has an 'SEOguy' or 'marketing guy' on payroll, but could clearly do a lot more than they are doing now and could benefit from your consulting services."

There are two ways I've gone about this.

The first is to connect with the owner or a C-level employee -- usually the CEO, COO, or CMO -- and sell them on the idea. Then have them dictate from above your role and responsibilities within the organisation.

This is the "easy" way in that a 15-minute conversation with the right person can have you hired as a consultant on the spot.

For example, early on in my copywriting career I got chatting to an commerce store owner at a seminar and after a few questions discovered the conversion rate on their main product (written by an in-house copywriter) was about 0.4%. Ten minutes later we had a handshake agreement for a $3,000 re-write.

The second way is via educational marketing -- white papers, free seminars, podcasts, that sort of thing -- showing the benefits of outsourcing this particular function and demonstrating without doubt why they are crazy to do it in-house.

This method is a little more complex and the sales cycle longer, but those are easily outweighed by the ability to scale. Rather than pitching 1-on-1 you might get 10 people at a seminar... send a white paper to 100 business owners... or have 1000 people listening to your podcast.

Simply put, you take your "we do it better" claim and prove it.

Show them a problem they might not even know they have.

Explain how you solve it cheaper / better / faster than they ever could.

Demonstrate why outsourcing to you adds value to the organisation and lets them focus on their core strengths.

Use case studies and examples of people who are better off because of you.

Give them tools and formulas to self-select.

Make sense?

Lots of consultants claim they can help but few go to the trouble of proving it.

If you've already got my Breakthrough Consulting Bootcamp then check out the marketing toolkit section as it goes in-depth on how to structure a direct marketing campaign around educational materials.

Talk soon,

Kyle Tully