When I was first starting my tech lead consulting business in Singapore, I was doing exactly what you were doing. Networking events, BNI and meet up groups.
It did not take long for me to notice a few things.
First, the people who I was networking with were just as desperate as I was and trying to sell me something I was trying to sell them. At most their products were a bit iffy.
Second, they had the same mindset. Anything free. I recalled a guy I helped out starting his financial consulting business. I offered to help him out, delivering a $3000 website for just $100 to cover the domain and some admin costs. You should have seen his face, "I'm a bit tight, how about $50?"
It seemed that in Singapore if you offer cheap, they'll want cheaper.
Turning Things Around. A Light Goes On
I once read a business book. A bunch of overweight people were sitting at a cafe watching a fit jogger run by.
"Once I get fit, I'll go jogging like him", said one of them.
Maybe, just maybe, things work the other way around. If you go jogging, then you'll be fit like him.
Spend Money To Make Money
First, I learnt a simple idea. You got to spend money to make money. A fisherman friend once say to me, if you want to catch big fish, you cannot use small bait.
Get A Sales Funnel
The second thing I did was invest in a sales funnel.
A sales funnel is an online process that creates awareness and leads a prospect through the buying process creating an automated marketing system that generates leads for your business.
The works especially well for businesses that sell services aka consultants. People who sell services have a harder time selling because services are less visual. If you are a consultant software developer, coach, trainer, a B2B marketer then a sales funnel works extremely well.
Why A Sales Funnel Works
It focuses down need
Take my business for example. I sell premium economy consulting tech lead services to companies. My target customers are co-founders or product managers, stressed out because they are unable to hire talent or several developers have quit and their tech project is sinking.
Your target customer might not be experiencing the right pain point when you first meet him or her. I might have met a product manager at a networking event or he might have read one of my articles on LinkedIn and at that point everything was okay. Suddenly a month later he's workload increased or a developer quit and now he is facing a problem.
When people have a problem, they start stressing out. Then maybe they start doing research and he recalls meeting. He goes through his LinkedIn, clicks on my profile, then he goes to my website and builds his understanding of what I do can solve his problem. This is the buying process.
It has a call to action
The next part of my sales funnel is a contact form. My prospect now finds he or she might be able to benefit from a consultant tech lead. The contact form appears and even suggests a quick 10 minutes consultation call with a few points structured in an email.
How many times have you either
1) never put a call to action
2) put a call to action too soon before the prospect understands his problems and decided
3) failed to lay out a clear agenda of a call
A sales funnel allows a prospect to take the next clear step in the buying process!
I've built a successful premium economy web development business in Singapore and one of my most powerful marketing tools is a sales funnel. That's why I want to work with other premium economy consultants like you to set it up and get results.