Long time colleague and good friend Amy Key’s asked me this in the Sell Your Service Private Mastermind Group (click to join) about choosing a vertical.
I’ve been working with Amy, coaching her on how to choose a market that she can really sink her teeth into.
Hey Michael Killen here’s a blog post to consider writing for me pretty please.
So I’m working on my “who can I help the most?” task. When industries start to become apparent for who to target, let’s say it’s Waste Management who needs what I provide the MOST.
Talk to me about the fact that I know nothing about that business other than I produce trash, I know where to put trash, I can talk trash, etc.
Will you tell me it doesn’t matter or it kind of does?
Do you have to know everything about your chosen vertical market?
So lets’s say you’re choosing a customer avatar or vertical and it becomes apparent that there is a market that desperately needs your help.
What if you’ve chosen a vertical or market and identified a problem, need or opportunity within that market?
Looking good right? Time to get excited!
But…you’ve got absolutely no experience in that market. Does that limit your opportunities to selling products and services within that market?
Do you need experience and a background in a market in order to serve it?
The short answer is: no.
“I’m worried that if I don’t have experience, they won’t want to work with me”
What people are looking for, is experience with results, benefits and problems.
Simply by deciding that you ARE going to focus on a niche, market or vertical. That’s already more than your competition are doing.
“We only work with Waste Management business who suffer from [blank]”
“We’re the worlds #1 Waste Management [problem/solution] provider].
Your experience, time on the market and previous customers have absolutely no impact on your ability to deliver results to your next customer.
This is kind of like saying that Uber, despite being new to the market, is still able to find and help customers.
People will recognise their problems and goals, rather than actual industry experience. If you can talk about their problems and goals, how to solve and assist them, that DOES tell them that you have experience.
People don’t want experience IN their industry, they want experience with results.
Now, assuming you’ve never got these kinds of results before for a particular industry or vertical, you need to produce other methods of proof and social proof.
Writing and creating helpful and valuable content is the fastest way to do this. We secured 2 membership LMS websites after publishing a very specific blog post. It proved that we were focused on that problem and result.
When people ask for portfolio work or previous examples, it’s because they don’t trust you. There are other ways to build trust.
If you’ve got experience, great
If you’ve come from a market and you can see what you can fix, then you’ve got an advantage.
However, you’ve also got an advantage when you’re not in an industry. You can see things from a different perspective.