The Transparency Problem

Last week I sent over the first two findings from the CLG study to kick off the discussion with some details on the problem we’re aiming to solve.

Virtually all of the bad marketing advice we’re mired with neglects this context, so I think it’s worth it to spend some time wading through the details.

Restated, Finding #1 is this:

On the topic of lead generation, most principals are dissatisfied, uncertain, or at least set on making improvements. This is especially true when they retain the majority of the business development responsibilities within the firm.

Now let’s not kid ourselves.

Every business has to wrestle with the “marketing problem” at some point.

the lead generation transparency problem

But I wanted to determine if there were specific characteristics involved in selling consulting services that lent themselves to more difficulty than one would experience in say, a “traditional” services business.

In other words:

Is there a reason that the majority of the firms studied didn’t have a clear picture of what they needed to do to solve the problem?

One consideration that cropped up is what you might call a transparency problem.

In a business where contracts hang on perception and confidence, the inability to acquire an adequate supply of business is not a problem anyone is ready to broadcast openly.

Any shred of evidence that the firm is not in continuous demand, with the power to select from an abundance of opportunity, is typically kept close to the chest.

This may be why, unlike other marketing advice, the consulting lead generation body of knowledge seems to be shrouded in a veil of mystery, with little in the way of standardized best practices and external visibility into what others are doing.

And as a result, principals tend to struggle in silence.

Once we open up the conversation though, it’s quickly revealed that this is neither a unique or uncommon problem, even among top experts in their respective domains.

So, you’ve found yourself playing the comparison game and think everyone else besides you has this figured out… they don’t.

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