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The Top 3 challenges facing B2B in 2022 and how to overcome them.

by | May 5, 2022

In Season 2 Episode 10 of our Leadership Torque Podcast, we talk to Business Coach and entrepreneur Paul Higgins about all things B2B.

Paul Higgins | B2B | Waymaker Interview
Paul Higgins is a Business Coach and Entrepreneur who specialises in Cloud Consulting for B2B | www.paulhigginsmentoring.com

If you own a business, especially a B2B business, then you’re probably facing many of the same struggles other B2B’s are faced with in 2022. Generating qualified leads on a consistent basis, finding and acquiring good talent, or even building confidence in your customers in an uncertain market.

As the late great Jim Rohn once said, “it isn’t the wind that blows – it’s how you set the sail.”The wind that blows is the same for everyone in the marketplace. Fuel prices, inflation, rising interest rates, supply-chain issues, international sanctions, and wars – just to name a few. All this creates great market de-stabilization. At the same time, however, it creates great opportunity. As Jim Rohn goes on to say, “don’t complain about the wind that blows, learn to set a better sail.”

“It isn’t the wind that blows – it’s how you set the sail.”

Jim Rohn

We recently chatted with Paul Higgins, a highly respected business coach and entrepreneur who specializes in helping Cloud Consultants scale their businesses. After spending almost two decades leading billion-dollar business units and sales teams for Coca Cola, he knows a thing or two about B2B, Marketing Technology trends – and just some of the keys needed to ‘set a better sail.’

In this conversation, we talk about a bunch of great topics, such as:

  • Scaling and selling businesses
  • B2B and Marketing lessons from Coca Cola
  • The importance of partner relationships
  • The rise of Marketing Technology (MarTech)
  • The benefits of being a smaller business
  • Leveraging partner relationships
  • Which Social media platforms you should be targeting in 2022
  • How to leverage LinkedIn for B2B
  • Building authority in your market segment
  • Identifying in what area most businesses break down

You can listen to our entire conversation with Paul Higgins on our Leadership Torque Podcast. But in this article, we focus on some of the solutions to these three big challenges Paul highlights.

In other words, how can we set a better sail?

Define Your Niche

According to Paul, one of the biggest challenges for B2B’s is getting clients in the door. Not just any clients though – but the right kind of clients.

“Most people I talk to – they either aren’t getting enough leads, or they’re getting leads that aren’t who they want,” says Paul. “You’ve got to really identify who your ideal client is, and be very specific. So you know, I’ve super-niched from consultants down to ‘cloud consultants,’ SaaS resellers, right? It’s very specific who I target. And I think a lot of people are just still being too broad.”

People often think that by going broader and casting the net wider, we increase our opportunities for business and sales. In many cases however, the opposite proves to be true. Whenever we talk to Coaches and Consultants, one of the most consistent themes coming through is becoming more laser-focused on what they do and don’t do, and becoming an expert in that niche.

Defining or refining your niche is one way to qualify your leads.

You can hear more about Paul’s thoughts on ‘super-niching” on his Accelerate Sales Podcast here: Super Niche to Scale Faster.

Build Your Authority

Another way to find more qualified leads is to build your authority.

“So particularly, say on LinkedIn, or other platforms, where people like, know and trust you – they’re doing their research. Now, prior to the sales call – What are you doing to make that easy?”

Paul encourages B2B’s to consider LinkedIn as a three-legged stool:

Your Profile: Consider your profile as a public billboard. Make sure when and if people visit your business page – they know EXACTLY what it is you do. Be clear, professional, and concise.

Your Content: Post content that is relevant and adds value. You can’t be too generous with the content you post here. This demonstrates your knowledge and expertise in your field.

Your Outreach: How are you actively trying to connect with businesses that could use your services? “Unfortunately,” Paul says, a lot of us get… connection request spammy sales message[s]… and I always ask people, like, Would you open or read that? Or would you reply to that? And they’re like, ‘probably not!'[And] often that’s a quantity game, but in professional services – in consulting, right, they’re buying you… You don’t need 1000 clients a year, you might only need 100, good ones. So… I think you’ve got to get better conversion rates through doing in particular LinkedIn outreach better.”

Paul suggests developing and generating content that establishes you as an expert in your field. Video content is an important part of this puzzle, and Paul offers that YouTube is still an important and growing platform for businesses.

“We do a little bit on Instagram, a little bit on Facebook, and a little bit on Twitter, but I think those two [LinkedIn and YouTube] are the ones that seem to be working best for b2b or certainly for me and my clients.”

But what about your website? How should we be using our website in 2022?

“[Well], have you got great videos on your website… showing that you are an expert, and people are getting to know and trust you before they even book that call with you?” asks Paul.

Your website is your shop window and is definitely one of the places potential customers will go to research you before engaging with you, however, Paul suggests where many B2B’s used to focus on developing a sophisticated website, to begin with, much of the heavy lifting in the introduction stage can be done with a good, well-curated LinkedIn Profile.

“You know, when LinkedIn wasn’t as good as what it is, you would have to go and spend, you know, $10,000 on your website, you spend money on accreditation, you know, you spend all this outgoing money, and it wouldn’t come in – which you know, was eating into your savings. I think now, [your] LinkedIn profile can do so much for you, your network, you can leverage off your network on that. And you only need really a landing page with your key service, you don’t need a sophisticated website to begin with… I think you can do much better to learn your IP whilst doing, rather than trying to set up your IP without getting paid.”

Develop your sales funnel

“I think the third thing,” says Paul “is around the sales funnel. What are you doing differently in the sales funnel, that can add value? So for example, for me, I have a free community. That is the only one in the world that’s… agnostic. So it’s got every platform you can think of – Salesforce, Microsoft, etc. to a free community on Slack. And its peers helping each other, right? So I’ve created that at the start of the sales funnel… it’s my way of building my audience. And it’s my way of giving back as the founder of that community.”

A sales funnel, for those who don’t understand the language, is the intentional journey an individual or business takes through lead acquisition, lead nurturing, customer acquisition, and post-sale engagement. You can find out more about developing successful sales funnels through our Waymaker Academy.

You can engage more with Paul’s content or connect directly via the links below.

Paul Higgins Mentoring

Accelerate Sales Podcast – Apple Podcasts

Accelerate Sales Podcast – Spotify

LinkedIn – Paul Higgins Mentoring

Find out more

If you are looking for an all-in-one leadership and strategy solution for your business, sign up for a free trial of Waymaker today!

A full transcript of our conversation with Paul is available here:

Transcript

Welcome to Leadership Talk, the one and only official waymaker podcast. I’m your host, Craig and with me as usual co CEO and founder of waymaker. Stewart, Leo, how are you?
I’m feeling awesome. Today, Craig, I’m pumped. We’ve got an awesome guest. And yes, it’s gonna be an awesome, awesome episode.
Well, I will introduce our guest right up front. His name is Paul Higgins. And he’s an entrepreneur and business coach and mentor who specializes in helping cloud consultants scale their businesses. Now he is highly respected by peers in his industry, and spent almost two decades leading billion dollar business units and sales teams for Coca Cola. We are stoked to have you on the podcast. Paul, welcome.
Thanks, Craig and Stuart, great to be here.
Paul, we’ve given you the well, first of all, welcome as well, from me, it’s, it’s great to have you on the Leadership Torque Podcast, we’ve given the formal introduction. I’m sure there’s a better version of that. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about you the work you have done the work you do now? Because I think a lot of people listening to this, they’re gonna get a lot of value out of the conversation we have.
Yeah, look, what I do now is I help cloud consultants or SAS, SaaS partners, anyone selling technology to help them scale. And the reason I do that is because I did the same thing myself. So I spent roughly five years in our last business building that up, it was a roller coaster road. And I’ve sort of worked out, me and my business partner worked out a lot of things not to do. So now I can help people avoid those just to get success quicker than they could by themselves. And we had a very lovely exit to a Google partner. And that all went well. But that was sort of the business. That was our greatest success. As you said, I worked in corporate for 18 years. And yeah, had a great career started as a rep ended as a director. And, you know, Coca Cola was a wonderful company. So what realize, sorry, you go,
Oh, I was gonna say we’ll get to coke in a minute. But let me do a book in those those seasons in your life, almost two decades with one of the world’s best known brands, and then a five-year journey, building a consulting startup and exiting that startup, that that consulting business to a Google partner, did I get that right? Now, that’s, that’s very rare for somebody to actually start, maintain, build and exit. So we’re going to drill into some of that because that’s first of all, congratulations. Or commiserations? I’m not sure. But because because sometimes selling a great business, it’s really sad to see it go. But tell us about the early days of starting that business. And then tell us about the end days of of that business and the key lessons learned.
Yeah, and, and just a quick context, I was five years in doing that. And then I had five years of basically running my own businesses. And you know, in short, I was advising small business, mainly consultants, b2b, that’s my space I love. And I realized there was two gaps that Coca Cola did really well. One was the tech. So you know, how do you get the right technology to expediate? Your growth? And the second was, how do you get the right people? So I started a VA and a development company out of the Philippines. So that was the two companies that sort of kick started the journey. And then yes, the five years of building our own company was really was a roller coaster. So we picked a platform that we thought was the right one, and we, you know, sort of drank the Kool Aid and thought, you know, everyone should love it the way that we did. So that was probably the first thing that we didn’t quite get, right. But then also, unfortunately, it was bought by one of the largest tech companies in the world. And as I used to say, coke, sometimes we used to make small companies smaller. And that’s what happened with this acquisition. And then we had to sort of pivot. And so there was yeah, there was a lot of twists and turns to what ended up being a successful X and when I mean successful, you know, it wasn’t life changing. It wasn’t as if I don’t work anymore, but it was enough to make sure that, you know, I could know that I didn’t have to work every day.
How did you know? It was the right time to move towards an exit experience? Or did the exit come by surprise
So, now we’ve been looking to exit the business. You know, the, the it was a really good short answer is that what we solve, we thought we could apply to other businesses. And the opportunity was great. But what we solved was how to get leads. So most leads, you know, come from referrals. And it doesn’t matter what type of consulting business, it might come from your own referrals. You know, it might come from your own clients, I should say, from partners, strategic partners, in our case, it came from the software vendor. And then overnight, they just turned that tap off. So we had 80, leads a month went to nothing. And we thought, well, you know, we’ve got a, we’ve got to solve that. And I think that’ll be applicable for others. So we did solve that. And we did that mainly through LinkedIn. That worked incredibly well. And then we thought, Well, look, we’ve got a really good base of licenses that have got a high margin. And we thought, Well, why don’t companies that have got the opposite, they’ve got lots of customers, but they got very low margins. So we strategically looked for a Google partner, and a couple of other platforms, because Google partners, like I said, are the opposite, right, they got lots of customers with tiny little margins on on licenses. And the product we were selling was a perfect sales CRM fit for Google, it was actually originally backed by Google and set up by Google. So, you know, we strategically went looking for a partner found, did a lot of work with them. And then my business partner actually went with the sale of the business because we got 50%, upfront 50 on a on an urn out. And I suppose I was fortunate that I didn’t have to work for the earn out. But I just had to make sure that my business partner continued to do the right thing. And he did, and it worked out. Well.
Well, congratulations. Interesting story. So you, and I think the key learning there is you actually getting prepared for exit. I mean, I meet lots of professional service providers and talk to them. And some of the question sometimes I get asked is, can a professional service organization be sold? That’s, that sounds? It’s not a dumb question. Because so much of the IP and goodwill of a professional service organization often sits in the principal or the founder or the primary partner? Do you want to talk to that? Because it can be and there are things you can do in your business that builds a better business that sets it up for sale? What were the things you learned in that journey that others could take away?
Yeah, well, I think the you’re dead, right. So and, you know, with the sale of our business, the Scott did go with associates who is integral piece, but also the systems that we’d set up both sales and ops. But I think for most consulting businesses, there’s a couple of ways that you can scale without it just been about you. And, you know, one way is to productize, some part of the service. So for example, you know, a lot of the clients that I work with, I say, Okay, you you’re doing, especially for your low end clients, you’re doing a very similar thing, but you’re still customizing it, right? So if you’re, if you get certain leads that meet our criteria, why don’t you then productize that service, so that means that you can scale it without you. So that’s sort of stage one. And then I think stage two is how do you build, like a membership or recurring revenue component, which could be you know, considered your service delivery and other things and basically put that together. So you actually have more members and commute it’s more of a community than it is. Because you know, a lot of these businesses just have one off transactions. And, you know, my days at Coke taught me and we used to say, you know, and from a sugar point of view, this is not great, but basically cradle to grave, you know, how do we have a consumer through all of our portfolio, no matter what they drink, right through, and I think a lot of professional service companies, you know, don’t do that. It’s a lot of project based work. So I think you know, a, is make sure your product, you productize what you can and then be how can you create a recurring retaining model component out of it, so that you can scale?
Well, then shameless plug here, if you do want to know how to do that and your way make a jump onto every sources, but that’s just that’s just me being blatantly salesy right there. But you touched on something really interesting there, Paul, and and let’s go there now, because we love talking about big brands, we love hassling big brands and picking out their faults and and picking out their good things. But, you know, it doesn’t get much bigger than coke. There’s only a handful of businesses that have probably been bigger than coke over the years. What were the lessons you learned at Coke and I’m sure there’s millions of them, but the ones that really helped set you up and take you into a professional service world?
Yeah, well, I think the first thing is the business model. And the business model is that the coke company, they do the product, and they do the marketing. So they really focus on what they’re best. And they’ve got franchisees. So we used to call them the bottlers to do everything else. And if you look at it, the world that I play in, which is tech consulting, it’s very similar. Right? So I think that business model is great, because it actually made sure the both both peoples like a marriage that was, you know, it was a difficult marriage at most times, right. But the, that tension between both sides, holding each other accountable, I think made it better as a system. So I think that business model, which was, I can’t remember his name now. But when he set it up in sort of the 80s, or something that made a really fundamental change, it made them also made less capital intensive for the code company so they could scale faster.
So that was a recent innovation in Coke. I always assumed that bottlers and distributors and the licensing of the franchise model was kind of there from the early days?
I think it was the consolidation. And I don’t know the exact time I’ve been to Atlanta and I met one of those. They called them sons of bottlers. But I think it was, I know my father, when he first started, he was an independent bottler. And that was about in the 80s. I think it was around the 80s. Godswetter? or can’t Robert, something! He was the guy that really set up that model.
And of course, we have to ask, but did you see the hallowed recipe? And can you share with us how to make a homemade Coca Cola?
No! Definitely, there was only you know, three people, look the rumor is wild. But it used to be that it was like the royal family. Three people knew it and they couldn’t all fly on a plane at the same time. I don’t think it’s as tight as that now, but no, never like to see that all the KFC recipe.
My marketing brain kicks in and goes “there’s more power in the story of the recipe, then there is in the recipe itself.” But I think it’s a great story. Sorry Craig go on.
No, you’re right. Paul, on your website, you talk about like the ‘coke way.’ And you’re talking about the partnership model, And just the strength in that – is that what you’re referring to when you talk about like the Coke, Coke Way or whatever.
I think that that’s definitely one thing. I think the other one with a coke model was their just their passion for consumers right? They made sure that they really researched the consumer before they launched anything. So when I went into the tech world, I still found that a lot of the tech world was very feature based and very technology based, you know, like, how many demos have a view guys sat in where someone just talks about the product? It’s like, well, you know, what, what’s the actual? What’s the result I want? And let’s minimize the amount of features not the other way around. So I think the Coke company, were…
starting to starting to feel guilty Now, Paul, this is good.
And look Nike, you know, Nike, Coca Cola – there’s a couple of really good consumer brands where they Yeah, it was, we will not launch this product unless there’s a clear market. And also, most of the time, they said it’s costly to market and educate people, right? So we want to make sure there’s a behavior, there’s an opportunity that exists already before we do it. And like how often have we, as individuals learnt something, hoping that people would come to it. And, you know, we all know how that plays out. So I think that was the other thing for the coat company. And then the last one was the way that they they work with customers, you know, we were very lucky back in the early 2000s, I was one of the largest clients in our region wanted a significant price decrease. And what we ended up doing is saying, well tell us how much money you want to make. And what we’ll do is make more than that up by taking all your data, what your transactional data mining and to telling you better strategies on how to run your business. And that happened and they never asked for a price decrease again, but they’re the type of things – that was back in the early 2000s. But the Coke Company was doing and I think they really focused on the consumer but they also focused on the customer and what the customer need was and I know that’s very common now we’ll talk about it and you know, even the sales automation was saying you know, we’ve lost some of that personal touch and it’s, it’s about individual choices now think the Coke Company were really at the cutting edge of a lot of that because they made lots of money and got some of the best people into teach us.
So Paul, key learnings there you know what Coke were amazing at their business model, the research and understanding of the customer. But then the intimate relationship and really partnership with the I guess the direct customer I talked to about research to understanding the customer, but we should really call that the consumer shouldn’t be, that’s the person buying the the can of Coke or sprite in the corner store. So those that were there three strengths, what can a professional service consultant or coach, take out of that, you know, what’s, what are the key learnings? Because you don’t, you don’t have to have the world’s biggest brand these days, do you?
No. And look a lot of the tools that were specific to companies like ours, and now a lot more accessible, if anything, I think some of the legacy technologies that are in large enterprise and because they’re so big, and it’s hard to change, we’ve actually got better access to technology than than what they have. So I think the biggest thing you can take out of that is to make sure that you really understand your customer. So you know, that’s the being consumer, it’s your customer, customer and making sure that you’re meeting their needs. I know that sounds obvious, right. But often what we do is think about ourselves before we think about them, and actually have people that regularly seek feedback, and do work, whether it’s you know, workshops, whether it’s you know, whatever to really understand the customer in customer. And I think the other thing is, you know, who are the strategic partners that you can work with, I’ll give you a very quick example. A client of mine was selling technology, and it was financial accounting, and it was perfect for private equity clients. And he was, you know, doing one on one sales through LinkedIn and was a little frustrated. So but why don’t we go to the private equity firms, I’ve got a portfolio of 4050 companies, private equity firm, they’re winners that they want better access to data and quicker profit. The portfolio company wants to get the private equity firm off their back, so they can just go on and get things done. So they’re not asked a million questions all the time, and they can make better decisions and get their own out. And for you, you’re selling the software in so everyone gets a win here. And you know, you could do a webinar to those 4050 people rather than selling individually. So I think, you know, if you’re a professional services firm, you’re a consultant, like, who’s already got your clients? And how can you form a relationship with them to get one to many sales?
I mean, that’s a that’s a great example. And we would call that your first part of that, that conversation there around customer feedback, you know, shorten the feedback loops. I think it’s step three or four on our marketing leadership curve, you know, the sale or the sales or the market feedback loop? That’s helping you understand who is buying who is not buying? And then I love your approach there pull on Okay, who, who already is servicing your customer? And how can you partner with them to go and can actually value add, and help you go from a one to one to a one to many? Paul, what are the common problems you’re seeing today? Or challenges you’re seeing today? In business, particularly in professional services and consulting? What would you say the top three problems are?
I think, one is getting your clients in the door. So most people I talk to, and particularly, they either aren’t getting enough leads, or they’re getting leads that aren’t who they want. So I think that’s probably number one. The second one, which, you know, we’re all experienced in the moment is talent. So everyone’s you know, thinking how can I get talent, or better talent, get talent at the right rates, because particularly in the US, where I do a lot of my business, you know, the cost of employing people is gone significantly up, and then the, the, the next one is just the, the, you know, the current environment, we’ve had COVID You know, then now we’ve gone into this terrible thing with the Ukraine. It’s like uncertainty, you know, and the old saying,” an uncertain buyer never buys,” I think there’s some uncertainty at the moment where especially the larger clients may be not willing to invest at the moment because there is some some uncertainty in the market. So there are probably the three key things that I see.
And And okay, they’re the challenges problems, what are the some of the key things you’re seeing good people do to overcome those?
Yeah well I think the leads one is that three key things so I’ve got a framework and the stage two is ‘Be Sought.’ Right? And I think, you know, guess you’ve got to really identify who your ideal client is, and be very specific. So you know, I’ve super-niched from consultants down to cloud consultants, SaaS resellers, right? It’s very specific who I target. And I think a lot of people are just still being too broad. So that’s one. I think the second is the authority, then, what are you doing? So particularly, say on LinkedIn, or other platforms, where people like know and trust you, they’re doing their research? Now, prior to the sales call? What are you doing to make that easy? Have you got great videos on your website, that’s, you know, showing that you are an expert, and people are getting to, like, know and trust you before they even book that call with you. And I think the third thing is around the sales funnel, what what are you doing differently in the sales funnel, that can add value. So for example, for me, I have a free community. That is the only one in the world that’s got its agnostic. So it’s got every platform, you can think of Salesforce, Microsoft, etc. To free community on Slack. And its peers helping each other, right. So I’ve created that the start of the sales funnel, where yes, some people will do some work with me, but it’s my way of building my audience. And it’s my way of giving back as the founder of that community. So there the three things that I think people could be doing to get more leads into their business.
Paul, I had a question just around even just some of your lead generation, and your emphasis on LinkedIn. Can you explain or maybe talk to some of the, I don’t know, the wins or the breakthroughs you’ve seen on that platform versus say, some of the other traditional platforms in social media that businesses would be advertising for b2b?
Yeah, well, I just did the stats the other day. So from… I had a transplant in 2019, and I really, uh, doctors finally said, you’re going to be healthy. Now you can go out and tell the world that you know who you are what you do. And since then, I’ve had nearly 4 million views on LinkedIn. Right. So the the exposure, the clients, the authority that’s given me is second to none. And you know, that’s effectively Yes, it costs my team and me time to create that content. But ultimately, that’s free. So I think that’s still very much there. I think the other thing is, you know, there’s three legs to the LinkedIn stool, your profile, like, there’s just so many times I’ll look at someone’s profile, and I’m like, you know, what, I’m just not quite sure what you do. So the easiest thing possible, is it think of it as a billboard on the road. Right? Where someone’s going to spend two minutes on your profile, are you making it easy for them to know exactly what what you’re doing and who you’ll help? And, you know, I think that, you know, some, it’s not difficult to change, but I find a lot of people don’t do that. And then the last one is the outreach. Right? Once you’ve built that authority, that your profile looks great, you’ve done the posting, then how do you outreach to people in a way that isn’t like, unfortunately, a lot of us get, which is, you know, connection request spammy sales message, you know, and I always ask people, like, Would you open or read that? Or would you reply to that? And they’re like, probably not. I’m like, Yeah, well, you know, you’ve ripped the script off some expert that said, to do it that way. Our which often that’s a quantity game, but in professional services in consulting, right, they’re buying you. And you know, you don’t need 1000 clients a year, you might only need 100, good ones. So, you know, I think you’ve got to get better conversion rates through doing in particular LinkedIn outreach better.
And do you see a value driving with the same level of effort and focus on other social media platforms these days? Or are you primarily saying, this is actually where you want to be?
Yeah, look, I think there’s an enormous benefit of being on YouTube. So we’re starting to branch more into YouTube. And if a lot of my clients been the consultants, yes, they might be in the technology, but it’s no different to any b2b service that a lot of people are finding them through LinkedIn. So we’ve got Evie, who’s bringing it clickup. We’ve got Paul who’s fantastic at Pipedrive. Asana, we’ve got other people where, you know, they’re getting fantastic qualified leads through their YouTube channel. So I think that’s another great it’s never been really classed as social media. But I think more and more It’s, it’s getting that way. And then look, we do a little bit on Instagram, a little bit on Facebook and a little bit on Twitter, but I think those two are the ones that seem to be working best for b2b or certainly for me and my clients.
Can I ask one more question Stu?
Go for it!
Okay, Paul, what what would be your thoughts around how much content you give away on those platforms? Versus how much or what you save for paying clients?
Yeah, look, my view is you give his much away on a particular topic, because you’re not going to be able to give everything away across the board at once. Right? So if if I, for example, you know, we’ve got some brilliant ways that we do LinkedIn messages and the Scripture use, etc. I’m more than happy to give that because I find that there’s so many other elements that you need to know, how do you set up sales navigate, like, there’s a lot of moving parts. But if you give all of it for one particular part, so someone can at least go and use that. I think it’s far better than, you know, the old bait and switch, which is, you know, like, I’ll give you a little bit and then you got to give me your email address to get the rest. I think, you know, as we all know, that’s probably Yeah, well past its use by date. Now.
If I’m a, somebody out there, that’s bit like you maybe 1015 years, 20 years in corporate life, and thinking, yeah, actually, I’m, I’m ready to quit the corporate life and become the business coach, the business consultant and build my, my lifestyle and my business. What’s the advice you would give that person?
I think one is the think that you’re going to take twice as long and earn about a quarter of what you set out. So I think that’s the first one which is be realistic, and prepare for that. The second is to make sure that your family are on the same page with that. I certainly promised my wife and my children a lot more. So therefore, we had to forego a lot of things that they were just used to. They’ve been brilliant, they adjusted, but I could have done that a lot better. And I didn’t. The third thing is leverage your network as hard as you can. Because in the first 12 months, to the first two years, most of its going to come from people that you’ve been fantastic to in your corporate career, and they’re the people that are going to make the first 12 months, 24 months as easy as possible.
Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s yeah, fantastic, fantastic advice. And, you know, my gut feel has always been, you know, somebody’s first six to 12 months, it’s always people, you know, or people you, you’ve got in your network, and it takes take 612 18 months to find your business model your rhythm until you can start to build some consistent lead generation that’s building this new business. Is that Is that a fair assumption to say?
Yeah, I think that’s great. And look, you know, most people are sorry, some people, you know, when LinkedIn wasn’t as good as what it is, you would have to go and spend, you know, $10,000 on, on your website, you spend money on a credit course, accreditation, you know, you spend all this outgoing money, and it wouldn’t come in which you know, was eating into your savings, I think now, LinkedIn profile can do so much for you, your network, you can leverage off your network on that. And you only need really a landing page with your key service, you don’t need a sophisticated website to begin with. So I think you can much better to learn your IP whilst doing rather than trying to set up your IP byte without getting paid.
Great advice.
Awesome. I’ve got one more question before we wrap up, Paul. I’m a small, small business or SME, and I engage you to to analyze my business and see my areas of growth and stuff like that. What’s the first thing that you want to put your finger on? Like, when you step into that space? Like, what are you going to target? Nine times out of 10?
Yeah, look, I suppose this is sounds like a non answer. But the first thing is, what are they? What’s their biggest challenge? Right? So go back to the consumer research that we talked about before, it’s like, what are you really challenging with because I’ve got like a jigsaw puzzle, right? So it’s gotten, ultimately nine pieces in it. And I can dial into any of those. So what I do is a diagnostic to see exactly where they’re at, where the gaps are, where they want to be, and then fill that. Now, nine out of 10 times that sales, right? There happens to be sales. But yeah, that’s the way that I first start with people because, you know, everyone’s got a different skill and a different ability. And to me, it’s a bit like a doctor, right? I want to first understand what the problem is before I say, Well, I think this is the best drug for you. And, you know, some of the group programs or been in you know, I find it a bit of a, you know, cookie cutter where you’ve got to follow this while I’m like, Well, I’ve already got 90% of that. Why am I starting now and I want this specific part, right. But now how can we get to that and week 12 I’m like, Well, I’m not waiting for week 12 them spending five grand a month to do it. Right. So I think that’s the best way to do it.

By <a href="https://waymaker.io/author/stuart-leo/" target="_self">Stuart Leo</a>

By Stuart Leo

Published on May 5, 2022

Stuart is the CEO & Founder of Waymaker. Stuart is a passionate believer in helping people find their organization's true north and giving them the tools to get them there. When not exploring new ideas in leadership and management, Stuart is with his family exploring the beautiful regions, islands and coast of Australia.

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