Intro (00:02): You're listening to the smart gets paid podcast with me, Leah Neaderthal. I help women land higher paying clients in their B2B consulting and coaching businesses, but I've never been a sales person. My background is in corporate marketing. And when I started my first consulting business, I learned pretty quickly that it's about a thousand times harder to sell your own stuff than it is to sell someone else's. So I taught myself how to do it, and I created a sales approach that feels comfortable, makes you feel confident, and it works consistently. And now I teach women how to land higher paying clients in their B2B consulting and coaching businesses. So whether your client contracts are $2,000 or $200,000, if you want to work with more of the clients you love, do more of the work you love, and get paid more than you ever imagined. Then you're in the right place. Let's do it together. Welcome to Smart Gets Paid.
Leah (00:55): Hey, there, Leah here, And thanks for tuning into this episode of the smart gets paid podcast. So this episode is for all the perfectionists out there, because this is actually the very first episode of this podcast. And I am actually a little nervous. All right. Really nervous. And that's because I'm a perfectionist. Actually I say I'm a recovering perfectionist. And I got to tell you it's a daily struggle not to let my perfectionist tendencies win out over what I know needs to be done in my business. But in a previous life, I would spend hours tweaking things and days, or weeks or months working on something because I needed to make it perfect before I put it out there to the public. And so not only did that make the creation process really frustrating and painfully slow, but there was a lot of stuff I made that actually never saw the light of day because I didn't think it was good enough.
Leah (01:44): It wasn't perfect. And if it wasn't perfect, it wasn't ready. Thankfully, with a lot of practice, I started to overcome my perfectionist tendencies. Like I said, I'm a recovering perfectionist, but understand where it comes from, what's beneath it. And I also understand how detrimental it can be to your business and your ability to get new clients. But I see it a lot in the women I work with. It's funny, I was actually on a live call for the Pack Your Pipeline Accelerator program. And one of the women started to say something and she said, well, okay, so I'm kind of a perfectionist. And I just had to laugh because I said, I pretty much work exclusively with perfectionists, including with the woman I'm talking to today. In today's episode, you're listening in on a coaching call with a woman. Who's a marketing consultant to companies in the life sciences and healthcare industry.
Leah(02:30): These are the companies that make things like respirators or blood tests or other medical equipment. And as you're going to hear her pipeline is kind of dried up as a result of COVID. And she's wondering what to do now, especially since in the life sciences industry, it's actually one of the industries that's essential right now, and things are insanely busy, but she's kind of tapped out her network already. And even though she's been in business for eight years, now, this is the first time she's actually had to market herself. And one of the reasons she's never marketed herself is that
Leah (03:00): Perfectionist thing that's always been in her way. And again, it's understandable, but it's also fixable. So in this episode, you're going to hear us talk about a subtle shift that she can make in how she thinks about her business. That'll get her on the right path and how she can start to get out of her perfectionist paralysis so that she can get in front of and really start to help the companies that need her right now. This conversation is a one-on-one coaching call with a student in my Pack Your Pipeline program. So I just want to say a special thanks to this student for allowing me to share this conversation with you, take a listen. And at the end, I'll come back and share how you can apply a lesson from this call to your business. We'll do that right after a word from our sponsor.
Leah (03:37): This episode is sponsored by the one-page sales strategy. So when you think of a business development strategy for a consulting or coaching business, you might picture a complicated flow chart with boxes and arrows and lots of steps, but it actually doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, the strategy that powers your entire consulting or coaching business, your work and your revenue can be just one page. And when you have that strategy, you can start to clearly see where to spend your time, turn off shiny object syndrome and get to work, getting the clients you want in your business. Because if you're like the women I work with, you're not afraid of hard work, but you want it to be the right work. So whether you already work with businesses as your clients, or if you want to start. Get your copy of the one-page sales strategy and start to create your simple, elegant sales strategy for your consulting or coaching business, get yours today at onepagesalesstrategy.com.
Guest (04:29): So week number three of the stay-at-home stuff, my daughter's home. And luckily my husband's home as well. So we're kind of tag teaming on the cri. . . we're calling it crisis schooling instead of homeschooling more, you know, we're hanging in there, grocery wise and all of that. But for me, the serious thing right now is certainly the financial impact of all of this. I work in life science, healthcare, marketing, and communications. And while you might think that that would be kind of COVID proof, what has happened is two of my clients have what are considered non-essential procedures. So their sales pipeline has like vanished overnight, right? And so I had one big retainer client that I'd worked with for almost a year and they have had to go on hiatus. So I only have now one smaller retainer client. Luckily I think that they are pretty safe because their business has exploded.
Guest (05:28): They have devices that help in the emergency room to monitor people's oxygen levels, which are so critical right now with all these people getting sick. So knock wood, that's a good sort of stable relationship right now, but I am in a position where I've got to start hustling to figure out how to replace that income.
Leah: And what's the type of support that you're providing for these companies?
Guest: So it really depends and I think that's one of the challenges that I've had is that because of what I provide is so broad, like I feel like I'm, I'm very specialized in the industry that I serve, but what I can provide is pretty broad. I started my career in public relations, so I can certainly help with communications, with messaging, with press release writing, overall communication, planning, and implementation. But then I also have clients who have hired me for event management. Basically people hire me when they want a senior level person that knows the industry and knows the ins and outs of working in a regulated sort of environment. And they can come in and they can hand it to me and say, go do it. And they know that I can get it done at a strategic level, but then I can also tactically execute on whatever program it is too.
Leah (06:54): Okay. Awesome. Tell me, what else do you think I need to know?
Guest (06:58): So I've been in business eight years and I haven't really had to do a whole lot of my own marketing. And I know you're starting to smile because I know this is one of your, you know, things that you've mentioned in podcasts before that for years, I was really fine, you know, and it was doing well and I was making fine money and you know, things are great, but it, it, it's a point at which your own network starts to kind of you've tapped all of those people. Right. And so now it's time to figure out how to get more people knowing what you do.
Leah (07:33): Let me just be clear. I'm not smiling because you've done anything wrong. I'm smiling because I wanted to tell you that this is so common. Right. You know, you're not alone in reaching this point.
Guest (07:42): Right. And that's one of the reasons that I, I don't even remember how I ended up finding you, you know, last year, but you know what you said, spoke to me so much and spoke to my heart and where I was. It was like, okay, she gets it. She understands how this is that, you know, even though I'm a marketer, it's really difficult to market myself. And so that's why I wanted to do the Pack Your Pipeline Accelerator, and, you know, do all of that. And, you know, in a perfect world, if all of this hadn't hit, I mean, my, my plan this year was to get very much. So I've been sort of an individual contributor, you know, for seven years. And what I had wanted to do this year was really bringing more people into sort of a virtual team, you know, but now I feel like it's a little bit back to the basics because I've just got to keep my, my own pipeline going, you know? So that's kind of where we,
Leah (08:39): Yeah, well, you know, a few things come to mind, the first is you're right, that if this hadn't hit, you would be on track to, you know, building this small agency of sorts. And right now it feels like it's really on pause, but certain things have not changed. Your experience has not changed that need for what you do hasn't changed. It's just that we're in a moment where people are wondering what to do. So, I think there are a few ways that I want to encourage you to think about it. You know, the first is what an amazing time for you because you know the industry that is the most critically needed right now. And so I just want to sort of offer that as like, just a reframe, like, oh my God, my stuff should be out there so much. I could help these companies. And part of that is going to be tweaking, you know, how you go out into the world. So just remind me, you went through the accelerator before and now you're doing it again.
Guest (09:43): Right. I'm still in the process of getting my profile updated on LinkedIn. And so that's kind of where I'm at right now, but yeah, I wanted to go back refocus and really, you know, do it the right way this time. Okay.
Leah (09:56): Awesome. Well, so for that reason also, I think you're in the right place because now you can learn how to use this as a channel to get yourself out there. And when we say, you know, get yourself out there, it's like, it's about your expertise and starts playing with your head. So, you know, you would never post anything. That's like, I offer life sciences consulting, you know what I mean? Like, that's not how we do this. So I think part of it is how you're sort of positioning your work. And then who are you trying to go after? Yeah. This might be the first time you've had to do this on purpose, you know, do it proactively.
And so let's talk about first, how are you positioning your work? Because I'm not sure if you saw the Facebook live I did either in the group or in Pack Your Pipeline, but right now it's really about becoming a painkiller.
Leah (10:50): Have you heard me say that language before the painkiller versus vitamin, right. So like, oftentimes what happens is if you've spent your career as a business owner, kind of responding to what people need, it's really hard when you're asked to say, well, what do you do? And what is the value you provide? Because it's always been in response to something else. And so now is the time when you get to sit down and say, well, what is a problem I want to be solving. Let's forget the tactics, whether it's, you know, you mentioned PR events, whatever, let's sort of set the tactic aside and really focus on what do I do? What is the value I provide? So talk to me a little bit about how companies are different when they work with you.
Guest (11:38): I would say that they get a resource in me that they know that they can trust to take a project and run with it. And I think too, the fact that I have 20 plus years in marketing and communications brings the strategic viewpoint that I can bring to some of these problems that they have or projects that they need to get through, but also be able to tactically get it done too.
Leah (12:09): So the language that you're telling me now is about yourself and your expertise and about what they'd had you do. That is fine. We're sort of putting us in a jar over here, but I want to hear how are these companies different and better as a result of working with you? What can they do as a result of working with you that they couldn't do before?
Guest (12:29): They can be more nimble because they are then focusing on whatever their projects are. They can look good for their bosses because they've got things done on time, on budget, you know, and everybody's happy. They can have a sense of relief that somebody knows their business, you know, almost as well as they do.
Leah (12:54): And then at the business level, how will that drive the business?
Guest (12:57): I would say that it helps, you know, enhance their brand, shed a positive light on their brand. You know, I'm thinking, I'm thinking very recently, I helped one of my clients execute on a national sales meeting. And, you know, I heard from the CEO down, this was the best sales meeting we've ever had. So how do I translate that into what they got from it? I mean, they got salespeople that were happy. That felt really re-energized about the company and about the direction that they were going. It helped the new VP of marketing who hired me look good for her bosses, but also really set the tone for the year. That meeting was the kickoff point. And so it really set the tone for her vision of what she wants the marketing function to do within that company.
Leah (13:47): Okay. We're getting closer. Right. So, and you say, how do I know what it's allowed them to do? I mean, that's sort of a mental exercise that I would encourage you to start practicing, what is this going to do for the company? So normally what we would do is sort of list all these out and then really bubble that up to a value statement. That's about the company. So I help life sciences companies, what, fill in the blank, right. And not a set of tactics, right? Like could do better events or all that stuff. Like what is the value that you provide to life science companies?
Guest (14:21): It's just, I have a hard time with that.
Leah (14:24): You are not alone. And, and you know, what, of all the women, I work with women who come from marketing backgrounds have the hardest time with this. And I know that also from my personal experience, because I come from marketing. You could do this with your eyes closed for somebody else.
Guest (14:38): Right. Right. You know, and I wonder, would it be helpful for me to ask some of my clients?
Leah (14:44): Absolutely. That was going to be my suggestion. Go back to your clients and say, listen, I'm focusing on my business at this time. Could you share with me a little bit about what we did together? What were some of the outcomes of this work? Because I think what the sort of change that I would encourage you to start making in some of the ways you're talking about your work is less about you and your experience and less even about the things that you do, PR events, you know, communication, strategy, marketing strategy, et cetera, but really starting with how are your clients different? What is the benefit to the clients? Because that goes from making your messaging sound like a vitamin to becoming a painkiller. You know, in times of crisis, but honestly, in any time, you know, you in good times, you might get away with saying I do marketing, right?
Leah (15:36): I know that's not exactly how you say it but just to illustrate the point. You know, in good times you could get away with landing clients. If you were to say whatever marketing thing you got, I'll do it because I do marketing and I know this industry, but in challenging times you have to be a painkiller. So it's really honing in on what is the pain that your clients have and how can you attach your messaging to solving that pain? And that's the first step of being more proactive with your biz-dev. Instead of being reactive to what they need or what people come to you for. So that's the first step, painkiller versus vitamin. Now we can talk about, well, who needs to hear that? Who are the people who you would want to get in front of?
Guest (16:22): Well, and I've already last week really started on that. So I did reach out to a few people that I know are doing stuff right in the thick of all of this. And so I did reach out, I would say probably five different people just to check in and say, Hey, I know you're probably swamped. You know, if there's anything I can do for you, let me know. Like I said, about five people that I knew, you know, had some skin in this game right
Leah (16:46): Now, when you say skin in this game, what do you mean?
Guest (16:49): I mean, companies that actively have respirators have an agency. I know that a client that builds ventilators. And she said that their crazy swans, these are all people that I know, people that I know that are probably working 18 hour days right now that might need some help.
Leah (17:08): Yeah, totally well. And so I think that's definitely the first step and I would go broader. I would go broader than, I know you, you reached out to the five people that you thought of and, and have a personal relationship with. I would go bigger. I would talk to anybody you've ever worked with anybody who you even reached out to you to work together. And then maybe it wasn't a fit at the time or they couldn't say yes. And I think the message really is, especially right now is less about like, is there anything I can do for you? But I think it's a slight difference. It's like, can I help? Right. And I think that's what you might've meant. It's more sort of how are you? Okay. Yeah. Because also, you know, the thing is everyone's going through this for the first time.
Leah (17:55): And so as overwhelmed as you, or I might be, or anybody who's like working at home with their spouse or kids or pets, or, you know, whatever, like they're in that too. And so I think it's really around, how are you doing more than can we work together? It's how are you? And offering, like, even if you just want to jump on the phone and talk through navigating some of this, because you know, you want to show up and be helpful. And I was talking to a woman the other day who's run her branding business for 35 years. And she said that in past recessions, she has just reached out to people and continues to build those relationships. Because, you know, when things pick up again, they'll remember that you were wondering, yeah, that's a good piece of advice. And then as it relates to the LinkedIn stuff, like Pack Your Pipeline stuff.
Leah (18:43): Who do you want to get in front of? Let's think about what other industries might be killing it right now. But I will say that like, this is still a long game, right. It was a long game last year. It was a long game, six months ago. It's a long game today. If this isn't like, you know, start posting stuff on LinkedIn, and then you get all these clients. Right. For the ones that you want to build that know like, and trust factor and have people see you as an expert, I would actually argue that if you see it as a long game, then it's really no different than it was two months ago.
Guest: How do you feel about just more specifically on the LinkedIn profile? Like right now, my profile says helping life science companies develop and flawlessly execute marketing programs and events. So my question is, should I revise that to say helping life science companies navigate through their marketing programs during the COVID-19 crisis or something to that effect? Or is that a little too ambulance chasing?
Leah (19:47): Well, I'll say two things.
At this point, we spent a few minutes going over her LinkedIn profile and we talked through a few changes that she could make to make it resonate with her ideal clients. But I wanted to address what I could see was the real issue
Leah (19:59): So I know you're sort of working on your profile right now. You might disagree with this, but I think it's the classic sort of marketer background to do all this stuff. Like internally then make it feel perfect before you actually do something external.
Guest: Oh, a hundred percent. I still don't have a website, eight years. I still don't have a website because it's like, I know that it's more than just throwing something up, you know? And it's like, well, then I've got to sort of, you know, have a anyway, I had done actually thinking about SEO and you know, it's hard. It's really hard to get out of that. Well, I know all the things that I need to do and sometimes that knowledge holds me back.
Leah (20:56): Absolutely. Absolutely. I validate that. So, and it's always more fun, safer, all of that to do, you know, you can spend a year tweaking your profile before you post any content. But the content, I mean, you know, marketing well enough, like having, even having a great website, does it matter if you don't bring traffic to it? Right. Okay. So we're on the same page with that. So, what I really want to encourage you to do is stop tweaking your profile. Okay. Start posting. All right. Because that's going to be the thing that really gets you in front of people and starts playing with feeds. Allow people to start to learn about you. Were you on this week's call?
Guest: Not today.
Leah: Okay. Well, so I shared this quote because we kicked off week three, the content week. So I've been reading this book about language on the internet. And so I came across this quote, as soon as I read it, it almost gave me chills because how, how important it is and how important it is for right now. A researcher named Jenny Sundance, she wrote, this is like back in 2003, but after her research, she said, in order to exist online, we must write ourselves into being, so this is what I want you to do. I want you to write yourself into being, and let yourself be seen and let people start to know that you exist and start to know how great you are because you have 20 years of experience in this. So let people know it, let people understand that.
Guest (22:15): Okay. I mean, it is, it's just like, it's the cobbler's children have no shoes, conundrum with marketers. You know, it just is hard. It's hard. And I think as a woman too, you know, I think that we tend to have a harder time tooting our horn maybe than men do. It's just hard, but you're right. And I'm always in analysis paralysis a little bit, you know? And so I need to just maybe spend 15 more minutes with the profile and start getting some content out this week.
Leah (22:48): Absolutely. And that's, that's where I feel like this is the way that you can and should be applying your experience right now because people are looking for a way to think about things and for a way to understand things. And so there's so much information out there. People don't need more information. They need a way to think about it in a way to make sense of it. So you are in a really advantageous position because you're not working at their respirator company. You know, you're a few feet away and you can provide some understanding, you know, you can make meaning of it.
Guest (23:23): I did do a couple of things last week and not my own content, but I sort of responded to what some of the big industry players are doing right now because of all of this. And I wonder how this is going to impact medical device manufacturing in the future.
Leah (23:38): I think it's great. Take that and run with it. Just get it up, just get it up there. Yeah. You can post to get on the radar of the companies you want. What do you not necessarily predict, but based on where you've come from or what your experience is like, what do you think are the changes that are going to happen?
Guest: Yeah, absolutely.
Leah: Soyou can get seen broadly and you can get seen by the people you really want.
Leah (24:06): All right. So I just want to call out one thing in particular, from our conversation that you can start to apply to your business. So in normal times, remember before COVID in our world, generally being upended, you could get away with being passive about getting clients, you know, not actually doing anything to get them. They'd sort of trickle in perhaps of course. With my sales coach hat on, I would argue that when you're passive about getting clients, it keeps your business small and makes it hard to do the work you really want. And it makes it nearly impossible to get paid what you want, but you still can get by like that. And a lot of women have skated by for years running businesses that do okay, but that's in normal times and we're not in normal times anymore. And in times like we're in right now and it looks like we'll be in for a while. You have to get proactive. Clients aren't just going to stumble upon you and want to work with you. You have to get proactive about getting in front of the clients. You really want positioning yourself as a painkiller and starting those conversations. So my advice that I hope you take from this conversation is be proactive. Do the things that will get you in front of your ideal clients, wherever they are, even if you've never had to do it before, or you've just never done it before now is the time to start.
Hey, thanks for hanging out with me. If you liked this episode, take a second and click the subscribe button wherever you're listening to your podcasts. And you'll be notified as soon as I release a new episode. And if you're listening to Apple podcasts I’d so appreciate it. If you took two seconds and left a rating or review the sales, Apple podcasts paid, there's good stuff in here and they'll recommend it to other listeners who might benefit from these lessons for their business. So please take a second and add a rating or review. Thanks. So that's it for now. I'll see you next time on the Smart Gets Paid Podcast.
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EP 3: On being an "expert"