“I don’t know if I can sell strategy”

One common objection that crops up when someone starts to contemplate ditching the proposal, launching a roadmapping service (https://kaidavis.com/roadmapping/), and selling strategy is:

“I don’t know if I can sell strategy. I’m not a strategic thinker. What if the client needs strategic help on something I don’t know how to do?! Ahhh!”

Which, fair objection.

If you, for example, sell SEO services to Shopify stores and someone shows up and asks for your strategic insights on, e.g., solving the environmental impacts of their product packaging, you might struggle.

If you’re looking to sell roadmapping (and strategy) on easy mode, this is where specialization, expensive problems, and the law of raspberry jam come into the picture.

#1: Avoid Problems You Can’t Solve

See, barring some exceptions, you shouldn’t attempt to sell strategy to everyone for everything. That way lies madness and spreading yourself across a million different topics, diffusing any strategic insight you might be able to share.

The law of raspberry jam tells us:

“The wider you spread it, the thinner it gets” — Gerald Weinberg

If you have too wide of a stance with your strategy-focused service offering, you’re going to struggle to make your service and marketing resonant with your target market.

Instead, you need to make your strategic offering _ laser-focused_ on places you can provide strategic insight.

How can you do that? Three ways:

#2: Focus On Problems You Can Solve

A) You need to be specialized

If you aren’t specialized, you’re going to be selling to too many people for your marketing message to cut through the noise.

And when you’re marketing to too many different target markets, the problems people ask you to help with can get very dissonant, which leads to you working on problems you can’t solve.

Instead, you need to focus your strategic roadmapping offering (and all your marketing and services, really) on a specific target market, platform, or vertical (e.g., SEO Growth Strategy for Shopify+ Stores, Digital PR Strategy for THC and CBD Brands).

That specialized focus allows you to target the strategic problems you already have insight into solving.

What contributed to that insight? You picked it up from:

  • The years of work you’ve done in this space
  • The experience you’ve had solving problems for your clients
  • The knowledge you’ve picked up reading and researching in this line of business

All that adds up to strategic insight on a specialized, expensive problem.

But specialization alone isn’t enough.

B) You need to focus on a painful problem

You need to focus your strategic offering on a painful problem your target market is experiencing. The problem, ideally, should be costing your clients/the market time or money or preventing them from making money.

Why? Because if you aren’t focusing on a painful problem, the value math doesn’t work out for your service.

Imagine that you’re focused on sharing strategy for a problem costing your prospective clients, e.g., $50/yr. You’re charging $500 for your strategic offering to help them define a plan to solve this problem.

Why should they purchase? The math doesn’t work out in anyone’s favor.

But if the problem they’re facing is costing them $5000/year, suddenly your $500 (or $1,500) strategy-offering looks good. Invest a bit of money, get strategic insight, and understand how to approach solving this high-cost problem in a way that will make an impact.

3) You need to align your strategic offering with the implementation services you already sell

The easiest way to sell strategy on easy mode? Align it with the implementation services you already sell (if you sell done-for-you implementation services).

Let’s say that you sell rolls dice something like one of the following done-for-you implementation-focused services:

  • SEO services for Shopify Plus stores
  • Digital Public Relations for THC and CBD Brands
  • Brand and Web Design services for early-stage YCombinator Startups

If you want to launch a strategy-focused roadmapping offering, make it the precursor step to what you already sell. That might look like:

  • SEO Growth Strategy for Shopify Plus stores
  • Digital PR Strategy for THC and CBD Brands
  • Brand Strategy for YCombinator Startups

You already know that you’re successful selling these done-for-you services. So, launching a strategy-focused offering that’s a precursor step to your done-for-you implementation services aligns everything so nicely.

Some clients will show up and already have a clear understanding of their strategy.

With those clients, you can jump to the done-for-you implementation services. They don’t need a strategy (or don’t need a lot of strategy), so you can focus on implementation

But other clients will show up with a need for a clear strategy.

Maybe they need someone to define a plan for them. Or perhaps they’re searching for someone who can clearly explain the issue and the best approach to them.

For those clients? You want to direct them to your strategy and discovery-focused roadmapping offering. It’s what they need.

Putting this all together

If you want to get started selling roadmapping and strategy-focused services (https://kaidavis.com/products/roadmapping/), ditch the proposal, and protect yourself from time-wasting tire kickers, you need to focus on:

  • A specific, specialized target market
  • An expensive problem that’s costing your target market money
  • Offering a strategic roadmapping service that aligns with the implementation services you sell

That’s the high-level strategy, but what does the implementation look like? How do you get started selling roadmapping?

  • What questions should you ask?
  • What should you charge for your roadmap?
  • What documents, emails, templates, or resources will you need?

If you’re looking for additional perspective, guidance, or direction on how to get started selling roadmapping services, then I recommend you check out Quick Start Roadmapping.

Quick Start Roadmapping will give you the tools, resources, templates, and guidance you need to get started with roadmapping.

One bonus included with your purchase? A 50-minute video interview with Kurt Elster (of Ethercycle) about how Ethercycle uses roadmapping in their service offerings. You’ll love learning how a successful agency is succeeding with roadmapping. You can watch the recorded video interview or read the human-generated transcript.

Read more about Quick Start Roadmapping, what you’ll receive with your purchase, and the all-new ‘Quick Start Roadmapping plus Strategy Call’ bundle right here: https://kaidavis.com/products/roadmapping/



p.s., here’s that link one more time: https://kaidavis.com/products/roadmapping/