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Technical Experts: Partner for Sales and Marketing

Digital marketing experts working on campaign

For your consulting or services business to succeed, you need more than technical and creative skills.

I’ve seen this pattern over and over. Individuals have attained an outstanding level of expertise in their professions and have excelled when working in other companies, but when they start their own ventures, they stumble in marketing and especially sales.

Whether your expertise is in corporate training, cybersecurity, tax prep, or energy-efficient electrical design, these services normally don’t sell themselves. When you start your own business, you need to think carefully about how you’re going to get to the first sale, and then the second.

One option is to educate yourself in sales and marketing. This could be a viable approach, but it would take time for you to come up to speed, and significantly more time before you were operating as effectively as a marketing and/or sales professional.

If your budget permits, support from a third-party marketing or sales professional could provide the skills and the kick-start that you need. Even if this is feasible, I strongly recommend that you take a somewhat hybrid approach and learn about marketing and sales on your own before working with an outside expert. A degree of competency will enable you to make better decisions about whom to hire and to collaborate more effectively.

Here’s another option, and maybe the one with the greatest potential: partner with an individual who complements your technical know-how with marketing and sales expertise. Whenever I discuss partnership, I emphasize that you and your partner should have similar values but not necessarily similar skill sets. It’s usually more beneficial if your partner can drive different parts of the business. One partner focusing on technical delivery and one on marketing and sales could provide the unique synergy and competitive advantage that helps you succeed.

For more on these critical topics, see my YouTube playlists on Marketing, Sales, and Partnerships & Legal.

Feras Alhlou

Feras Alhlou

Feras has founded, grown, and sold businesses in Silicon Valley and abroad, scaling them from zero revenue to 7 and 8 figures. In 2019, he sold e-Nor, a digital marketing consulting company, to dentsu (a top-5 global media company). Feras has served as an advisor to 150+ other new startup businesses, and in his current venture, Start Up With Feras, he's on a mission to help entrepreneurs in the consulting and services space start and grow their businesses smarter and stronger.

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