Smart Gets Paid Podcast Transcript
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 salesperson. 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.
Hey, there, Leah here and welcome to season two of the Smart Gets Paid podcast. I am so excited to be back with you for Season Two. We have such a great season lined up for you where we're going to talk through some of the most important issues that women just like you are having in getting clients into your B2B consulting, coaching, and service-based businesses. So if you haven't yet, check out the trailer for the season to get a taste of what you're going to hear. And before you do anything else, just click the subscribe button on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts so you get notified as soon as the episodes are released and you don't miss a minute of it. And I just want to say how floored I was by the response to the First Season of the podcast, to everyone who left a review or left a rating, or who emailed my team or me privately.
I just want to say thank you. It means more to me than you know, and I think one important thing I learned last season. Well, I mean, there was a lot I learned in doing season one, but one of the things I learned was when I was coming up with the concept for this podcast, I thought that the calls that you would listen in on, they'd be, you know, about one thing or we'd sort of like edit it down, do some light editing so that every episode was about one topic. And that would be the topic of the episode, right? So like pricing, which we talked about or mindset or selling into complex companies. And what I discovered in going back and listening to these calls in the editing process was that even after we had edited them down slightly, these calls were actually not about one topic.
They were about so many topics. So many things like even in a 10-minute conversation that was about like selling into complex companies, that it was actually about so many other things that were connected to that, like mindset or communicating your value and knowing your clients, knowing who your clients are and leading a sales process. And in every episode, it was so hard for me to come up with what an episode is actually about because I'd listened to it once and I kind of hear a theme emerge. I'd write the intro, I'd read the outro. You know, the part at the end where I pull out a lesson and it sorta relates to what the podcast is about. And then I listened to it again and I hear another topic emerge a different topic. And I think, well, okay, wait a minute, the episode is not about that first topic.
It's actually about this other topic or these other two or three topics. And it was kind of like, I was looking through a kaleidoscope where if you look at it one way, it looks like this, but if you turn it just slightly, it looks totally different. But with the format of those podcasts and with just the way podcasts kind of are, I had to choose a theme for each one. But in every episode, I always left feeling like there was more than I wanted to say and more I wanted to share. And I didn't want these little nuggets, you know, even a little phrase, like a throwaway phrase, which could have opened up a whole world in itself to go unmentioned. So in this season, I'm doing something a little different, at times throughout the season, we're going to have our main episodes, which are in the format we did in season one, where I introduced the call that you're going to listen in on, you listen to a coaching call.
And then I come back and pull out a lesson that you can apply to your business. But we're also going to do something new throughout the season. We're going to do almost like an Episode after the Episode. I think I need an actual name for these, but for now, we're just going to call them the Episode after the Episode. Where I come back after the episode and share just a little bit more, maybe I'll pull out another thread or another topic to talk through. Like maybe I'll share more of the thinking or my thought process on why I responded to my clients the way I did and why I gave the advice I gave. Maybe I'll just tell a few more stories. And maybe some of those stories are a little embarrassing, I don't know, honestly, we haven't recorded these so we're just going to see how it goes.
But I think it'll be fun because in the episodes where you're listening in, you're already behind the scenes with me listening in on these calls. But we're going to go even more behind the scenes. Is there more behind the scenes? Is there a behinder of behind the scenes? I don't know. But we're going to go more behind the scenes in these other episodes. Think of these as you know, like Andy Cohen on Bravo. I'm not really like a big reality TV person, but I know that Andy Cohen does this thing on Bravo. So you have like the show and then there's like talking about the show. That's me. I'm basically Andy Cohen now. So that's something new that you're going to hear this season. All right. So let's get into it. In the call that you're going to listen in on today. This is actually a perfect example of one where I had to listen to this call about five times because I could not decide what this call was about because it was actually about everything.
The woman I'm talking to is a marketing and communications consultant for nonprofits. And she sort of gives voice to so many of the questions and dilemmas that I hear from the women I work with. So many that I didn't even know what to choose because this episode is about going from having gotten all your clients through referrals or word of mouth to becoming more intentional about getting more clients and clients outside of your referral network. It's about the dilemma between really naming the value you provide, but also not wanting to limit the services that you offer. It's the dilemma between wanting to be seen as a strategic partner and also being able to do some of the execution, but not wanting to be limited to execution, but also not wanting to give up the execution entirely because it does keep things interesting. And it's about the dilemma between the security of subcontracting to somebody else versus really doing business development to get your own clients.
There's just so much good stuff here. The woman I'm chatting with is a student in both my Pack Your Pipeline and Signed programs. So I want to send out a special thank you to the student for allowing me to share this conversation with you. Take a listen. And at the end, I'll come back and pull out a lesson you can apply to your business. Let's see if I can pick just one. This episode is sponsored by the One-Hour LinkedIn Profile Power-Up my free guide to help you turn your LinkedIn profile into a powerful tool to get your ideal clients finding you on LinkedIn, you can get your copy at smartgetspaid.com/profile. So when you're running a B2B consulting coaching or service-based business, your clients are on LinkedIn, but the challenge is how do you actually get them to find you? Well, it starts with your LinkedIn profile, but most business owners LinkedIn profiles just sort of sit there, not doing anything for their business. Fortunately, there are seven simple steps that you can take to turn your profile into a powerful tool, to get you in front of your ideal clients on LinkedIn and get them coming to you for your expertise. And they only take about an hour. So grab your copy of the One-Hour at LinkedIn Profile Power-Up today and start turning your LinkedIn profile into a powerful tool to get your ideal clients coming to you using LinkedIn. Get yours today at smartgetspaid.com/profile.
So I guess my first question is how's it going? Guest - It's going well, I really loved this whole process and I haven't been able to participate as much as I'd like to towards the end of it. But part of the reason that I decided to do this program now was so that I could lay some foundations for other things that are coming up so that while I'm stepping back for a little bit in the coming weeks, you know, I feel like I have a good foundation to kind of kick business back up when I'm able to do a little more. Leah - So how can I make this call really valuable for you today? Guest - I mean, I guess part of what I knew this going in, that like I need to be able to do a deeper dive into what my real value proposition is and what is the thing that I offer because I feel I've been sort of waffling between these two poles of like, am I a personality that you hire when you need that particular kind of vibe on your team?
Or you're doing some kind of creative project and, you know, I come in and do whatever needs to happen for that. Versus kind of having a very clear product and process and having a pipeline at all and having a replicable service that I offer over and over. And I feel like I sort of know who my ideal clients are. Like, I work a lot with it's, it's all in the nonprofit world within that even I work a lot within kind of the educational space. And, you know, part of my question is like how to what degree do I kind of name that and lean into it. But at the same time, I have other clients that I'm doing the same stuff for that do not fall under that umbrella. I took this on sort of knowing that this would be a way of, you know, sort of getting at those big questions from the outside in, and knowing that I can sort of use this as an opportunity to put something out into the world and try it and then like chip away at it.
So I dunno, I mean, I guess I'd be curious as to your kind of initial reflections on that approach in general. And I have a specific question or two about LinkedIn stuff, but I'm curious about your take on that.
Yeah, so if I'm understanding, it's the question of where is the real value and how do you name it and essentially who do you name it for? Just little questions like that. So talk to me about this. This idea is like, do you hire me and I'll do whatever you want, you know, whatever the problem is, I'll solve it. Talk to me about that a little bit.
Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, I've been working independently for coming up on two years and my businesses almost exclusively referral driven and it's a lot, you know, people I've collected along the way. I mean, this is a very familiar story, right. And I think that people come to me because it's me and not because they're looking for a particular product, I guess, because I'm friendly and reliable and creative and I can turn out whatever it is they're trying to do. And they feel like that I'm sort of the person that a lot of my colleagues and potential clients and things like that turn to when they need a particular kind of perspective. When they need some creative insight, when they need to sort of crack things open and think a little bit differently and think through how that might look and that, you know, that ends up manifesting in a whole bunch of different ways.
And at the same time, I've also carried over from some of my previous positions. Like I have some experience in videos so every once in a while a project will be making a video, which isn't the business that I necessarily want to be in, but I'm partially attracted to that because it's fun and you get a tangible thing out of it and you can show work product, but then I was grateful to hear your answers to some of the other questions about like the folks that are working more exclusively and branding, for instance, you know, should I show the logos that I've made for other clients and your response about they're not coming to you as a sort of strategic partner, they're coming to you for the implementation thing, and you're already starting the conversation at a different place.
Well, I was going to mention what resonated with you about that, the idea that, you know, when you just talk about what you do, it doesn't put you at this sort of high level to be sort of hired or paid even on value.
Yeah. I mean, I think it's spot on and it's like the advice that I give to other people, it's like the Alice in Wonderland quote, right? Like I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it. You know, I think, engagements, client engagements naturally move from strategy to implementation. And if you are entering the conversation as a strategic partner, then you're able to demonstrate that value and build that relationship in a more powerful way. And then there's going to be kind of that natural life cycle where eventually that has to translate intent into implementation and either you're the person to carry that forward, or it gets handed off in another way. So if you're entering the conversation as the vendor, as the tactical implementation person, then those engagements never turn into strategy.
Exactly. I was just, as I'm taking notes, I wrote you can go from strategy to implementation if you want to. I do want to sort of poke on that assumption that it naturally has to go to implementation and you know because I think it's okay for you to stay in that strategic role, but not getting too far in the weeds on that. You can go from strategy to implementation, but you can not go the other way around, right. It doesn't work the other way.
So a couple of things I think about when you say should I be personality driven. It's just like, oh, you know, I'm a problem solver. Everybody knows me as a problem solver and you want my perspective and you know, whatever the problem is, I'll solve it. There are a couple of problems with that approach. First being what you mentioned, you know, it does not put you in a strategic place and because it's like, I'll do the things, right. And then you're like, why is everybody hiring me for the things and all these different things? Well, because that's what you sort of said you would do, right. It's very hard to get paid a premium for that. It's very hard to get out of that until you will always be in an implementation space and then doing the doing space, the only way to not be in the doing space is to hire people under you to do more of the doing.
Yeah and that's fine if that's what you want to do, but it's like, I do have people come to me and they're like, I just want to be seen as a strategic partner. But they're like, whatever it is, you all do all the marketing for you. You're too busy to do the marketing. So I'll do the marketing for you, it's like, but you've sort of put yourself in this place, right. So that's one risk with that. The other risk is that when people just know you as somebody who gets it done or has a unique approach and your business is super referral driven and you're sort of wondering, well, do I have to even do it, I have to sort of name the problem that I solve or whatever. The risk there is that the only people who can refer you are the people who really know you because they can say, no, she's really good.
You just have to get her cause she did this stuff for us and I don't know whatever it is, it sounds like something she can do, right. But what you're doing impacts your pipeline. And when you have LinkedIn as a platform, you have the ability to like you now you have a huge platform and the approach of, oh, you know, she's so great you just got to talk to her, doesn't work for people who don't already know you, right. You know, so you'll always be sort of limited to your personal network and that's, you know, to some degree that's okay. You know you can, if you want to have a small business and just sort of do have a couple of clients here and there, like you can be limited to your personal network, but there becomes a question of, are you getting the referrals that you want?
You know, because people only know you as somebody who does great stuff, whatever the great stuff is, but it's hard for them to sort of put you in a place in the business. You know, the thing is that you mentioned you've been doing your business for two years. This is exactly the inflection point that happens around 18 months and two years. Because the first year or so two years is like whatever the thing is, I'll do the thing, do other things. Well, you know, and so, but now you've done enough of the things that you get to say, well, what's the problem I really want to be solving. And it does not necessarily limit you to a set of services either. You know, it's like, I want to do digital marketing or whatever, you know, that you don't have to sort of say, I'm just, you know, I do the digital marketing.
That's not even solving a problem, right. That's sort of is just take a service that you've done. But the problem that you're solving is, you know, I helped educational organizations, you know, XYZ, right? Like that's how to solve that problem that they would name that does put you in a place. It helps people understand, even people who've never met you, the problem that you solve, the value that you bring and then you can use different tools to solve those problems. Does that make sense? Guest - Yeah. It's probably what you've been saying all along, but like hearing it framed that way now it's hitting me, Leah - what about what I just said hit you?
Maybe, I don't know if it was what you said or just that we're like in this one-on-one space that I'm more kind of taking it in a little better, but I think just saying, what is the problem I want to be solving? And the fact like that combined with not having to limit to a specific service, the kind of business that I want to run is not one where I have a specific thing that I run over and over and over again, I don't see myself, I just don't see myself being very, particularly good at that. Like I think it affords me, I think a little bit of the freedom that I'm looking for when it's framed as the problem that I'm solving and not necessarily as the replicable service. So maybe I think I've just been setting myself up as like, there's sort of a false dichotomy between that personality thing and the replicable service thing that maybe that point is like, oh, it's not a replicable service, it's a frequent problem that...
Yes, the organizations that you work with, maybe they want to do a thing that they can't do, right. You help them do the thing. Now you would never say it like that, right. You sort of have to name the problem and name the end state really that these clients want. But that's where you bring your expertise. You bring your perspective. You don't have to, I heard you say in the beginning, you don't have a clear product. You don't have to have a clear product. You don't have to have a course. I would imagine that you also mentioned process. I bet you do have some sort of process that you bring to it, even if you don't feel like it's super codified, but again, it really is about, I bring all the tools to bear to solve this problem. And then, you know, that also leads into your next question, which is if I typically work for organizations and education organizations, do I have to name that?
And you know, I think that it's something that I hear from a lot of people, do I have to say it? I mean, I have to be open to, I don't want to close myself off from, you know, all these other opportunities or what have you. I think that you know my perspective is when you name the clients that you are totally best positioned to solve this problem for, you make it easy for those clients to say yes. And it's not to say that, you know, any other client that comes your way, that's like, Hey, can you help us solve that problem too? They're going to be like, eh, Nope, automatic, no, get out of my inbox, right. You can take any client you want, you can take clients that don't even have this problem and you can still take those clients that are like, you know what, whatever it is, go talk to her, she'll figure it out. But it's just, who do you want to signal that you've solved this problem for, you know, if you had, you know, like a really big, I don't know if you, if you had a killer knee pain, would you want somebody that's like, I'm a doctor, I help with everything to do with health, right. Or do you say, do you want to work with somebody who's like, I'm an orthopedic surgeon, you know, I help people with bad knees get back on the road, right.
Totally. Yeah. This is helpful. I mean, I think it's helpful just to hear that distinction between signaling and then like, it doesn't necessarily mean that again, it's these things in combination, right? What's the problem I want to solve. And I'm not limited to a specific service. It's the clients I'm best positioned to help. And I'm not limited to just working with those people. Like I think having those things together is what I was missing. Can I ask then tell me if this is like going beyond the parameters of this conversation in this course and things like that. Like I'm happy to focus a little bit. But I have one of the things that I struggle with a little bit is when I first went independent, it wasn't entirely just like my thing. I had walked out of a truly godforsaken job into a relatively significant consulting project subcontracting for a dear friend of mine.
Who's also a frequent collaborator and colleague. And so I find myself in addition to my solo practice, I guess I'm like subcontracting pretty frequently with her or with this other digital agency that works specifically with nonprofits and they, this other digital agency that I subcontract with specifically puts me on their contracts with organizations and specifically with educational organizations, because that's really like, that's my wheelhouse. And like, I think there's a bigger question of like, to what extent is that really good for my business? Or is that good for my income or whatever. But I guess the immediate question on the table is how do I put that on LinkedIn or don't die. Some of that is reflected on my profile and some of it is not. And I suspect that the way that I should use my LinkedIn is to hire me and leave that other stuff, like not advertise the other stuff.
Well, I mean, you can certainly list it on there, but if you're going to use LinkedIn as your business development channel, and you're going to get visible in front of thousands of people and you're going to help thousands of people understand the value you provide and who you provide it for and start to build that trust factor. I want them to know you and the value you provide and I wouldn't encourage you to sort of do all this work to get another gig where you're subcontracting.
Right, right. Right.
You know, to me, subcontracting is like, you're the subject matter expert, the people who you're subcontracting to, they're the ones who are doing the business development for their business, right. You know, so, you can certainly mention it, but it's just a footnote really.
Okay. Yeah. That's fair. I think there's part of me, that nasty little imposter demon and whatever, and sort of feeling like I need to attach myself to these more authoritative brands that to be taken seriously, but that's a bunch of bull.
You can say it too. That's fine. The other thing, I mean, part of me is also thinking, like I have found that since I left like formal programming and communications positions inside of nonprofits and moved on to being my own free agent and doing the consulting thing, I've had more, like, I've had more of a sense of team and collaborative relationships than I ever did inside of any organization. And so part of me, which yeah, right, depressing, huh. You know, I found myself in this space where everybody does kind of come into it, knowing like, this is what I can do, and this is what I can't do. And when I'm the right person, like I'm definitely the right person. And when I'm not, I know exactly who to point you towards. And so, and like that you can't always, like there's politics and there's titles and all kinds of nonsense inside of organizations that prevents that sort of attitude from driving the culture.
And so part of me is just like, I feel a little obligated to sort of name my team. You know, if I'm not the right person, then I still want to make sure that you're getting the support that you need from the right person. But I guess what I'm hearing here is that's different from business development. Like that's different from just getting out in front of the right people and asserting your worth and putting the value that you can offer in front of them and making yourself the clear choice or whatever.
Exactly. So, you know, a couple of things are going to happen when you start to do this. And, and it's the reason why we spend a lot of time on the headline and you know your value statement. And it's like painkiller statement. It's not just a signal to other people, your value it's really also signal to yourself.
Oh my God, isn't that? Yeah.
And so what we find is a lot of people, they sort of stand up taller when, you know, they go from saying, I'm a graphic designer or I do digital marketing to really sort of having this killer value statement about the value that they provide in their business and the value they provide to their clients. And it does, you know, it eliminates a little bit of that imposter syndrome. And, we talked about your team. I think it's great to have people in your toolbox where somebody comes to you and you're like, oh, you need this thing, I don't do this thing, but here's somebody else. Those are great relationships to have. Those are great referral partnerships and, you know, to refer business back. But I have a feeling also that the clearer you are about the value you provide and the problem you solve and the more you get that out there, the less often you're going to get people for whom you're like, Nope, I don't do that because you're going to start to signal more and more, the problem you do solve. And you're going to get more people who have that problem. And the thing is, you know, the best antidote to imposter syndrome is getting clients.
All right! So like I mentioned, this conversation touches on a lot and it was hard to know actually what to pull out, to say more about so that you could start to apply it to your business and actually real talk. I had to tell you, I wrote and rewrote this part about a dozen times because every time I listened to the part that you just listened to, I heard something new that felt important, but I want to touch on something that's really actually the most universal because I hear it from nearly every woman I work with and it's about referrals. So a lot of the women, I work with get clients through referrals because people know you and they know that you're good at what you do. And that does not surprise me at all. Because even if you're listening to this and I've never met you before, I know that you are good at what you do.
I have literally never worked with a woman who wasn't just exceptionally good at what she does and doesn't over-deliver and just do incredible work. It's actually one of the best parts of what I do getting to meet women like you, who are so good at what you do. But it also doesn't surprise me to hear that you're getting clients through referrals because referrals are actually how everyone gets clients in say, phase one of their business, that first, you know, 18 months or two years or so, when you get clients, because people who know you or who are excited that you're doing something new or who are excited, that you're starting your own business, they share you. And they send people to you because they know that you are good and referrals are a great method of getting potential clients into your world. I'm never ever going to tell you or anybody not to get referrals, but it's really a question of who you are allowing or enabling to refer you.
Because when people know you as someone who's smart and who can just do anything that's thrown at you. As I mentioned to my client, you can get referred and you will get referred, but you can only be referred by people who know you, but if you can get super clear on the value you provide and your positioning and even the way that shows up in your LinkedIn headline for example. And then you can get that value seen by a lot more people consistently. Then you actually start to arm a whole lot more people with the tools to refer you when they see someone or meet someone who could benefit from working with you. And that includes people well beyond the people that you know, personally, people who have never met you before. This actually happens to me all the time and to the women in my Pack Your Pipeline program, they get referred by people they've never met because they've armed people with the tools to refer them.
So getting visible, getting proactive, even learning how to sell doesn't actually replace getting referrals, because I hear this a lot. I don't need to learn how to get clients because I get clients through referrals. And I think that actually sets up a false dichotomy, like learning how to sell doesn't replace getting referrals. It enhances getting referrals because it gets you more of the right referrals. And it ensures that when people do get referred to you and it should be a slam dunk, you can actually sign them and get paid more for every contract. So what can you do? The first step is to get super clear on the value you provide and then get visible consistently. And you'll be amazed at the potential clients who start to come your way.
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 on Apple podcasts, I’d so appreciate it if you took two seconds and left a rating or review, this tells Apple podcasts hey 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. Learn more about Smart Gets Paid programs and coaching at smartgetspaid.com.
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EP 17: After the Episode: Too many sales challenges to count