There are many approaches to sales and a myriad of “experts” that debate ad nauseam on how to “fill the sales funnel”. In the gig economy, however, the stakes are a little different as well as the likely support system (i.e. typically there is no big marketing budget and/or sales support working on your behalf). This is by no means a complete guide on how to build your pipeline, but simply a few suggestions on how to position yourself to win more business as an independent agent.
First, start with a problem. Is your contact or prospect experiencing the specific issue/problem that you can solve? This is a critical piece to the puzzle. If you have a specific skillset/offering, your time may be best spent exploring areas where you can “apply” your skillset immediately in order maximize value for your customer, ultimately winning business quicker.
Second, is the problem you are solving a “nice to have” or a “must have”? While it is always important to look for areas to help a prospective partner, it’s equally important to ensure the time you spend advertising your services is maximized. Looking for companies that are in a situation where they must make a change is generally far more productive, and quicker to move the cursor, as the customer generally already acknowledges a problem/gap exists.
Third, do you have any relevant use cases? It is always great to learn a new skill/trade, but most companies do not have the luxury of allowing “on the job training”. Generally, the higher visibility the challenge, the lower the tolerance for neophytes is. Therefore, focusing on where you have performed the task/services before and creating material that backs up your accomplishments will only get you closer to your goal of moving forward.
Fourth, do you have the right decision maker? This can be a tricky one to tackle, but doing so quickly and judiciously is critical. Does the person you are meeting with have the ability to make decisions on behalf of the company or not? If so, then congratulations, you are one-step closer. If not, investigating the decision-making structure is a critical step. If a multitude of decision makers are needed, then you need to quickly incorporate these introductions into your overall strategy.
Finally, are you utilizing the right approach? The approach needed is, of course, specific to the opportunity at hand. One idea, start with a lightweight advisory service, assessment, or “health-check”. Generally, these can be priced in a manner where costs are not prohibitive and therefore easier to float through the boardroom and get approval. This is an especially good approach if this is a new business relationship, a new BU that you are trying to break into, or a newly uncovered company initiative. The purpose of this approach is to quickly build trust and illustrate value, which can lead to ancillary work. Pricing implications, however, to this approach are huge and will be covered in our next post.
About the Free Agent- The Free Agent utilizes a vetted bench of battle-tested experts that work directly with companies in hyper-growth. Simply put, we provide the right strategic experts at precisely the right time in order to accelerate results. If you are interested in learning more, or joining our vetted and curated platform, please do not hesitate to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org. We live and breathe the gig economy and are always interested in beginning a dialogue.
Beau Billington- the founder of the Free Agent, a consulting company immersed in the strategic-layer of the Gig Economy-