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Do you know when to educate, propose a solution or showcase your capabilities?


Hi there, it’s Peter Winnick. I’m the founder and CEO at Thought Leadership Leverage, and today the idea that I’d like to share with you is this: as a thought leader, as an author, as an expert in your space, do you have the right systems and processes in place to effectively respond after you’ve had a conversation, typically an initial conversation, with a potential client or prospect? What do I mean by this?

Oftentimes, I see thought leaders have a one-size-fits-all approach. So they have a call with a client, and they’ll send a capabilities deck, or they have a call with a client, and they’ll send something that will educate them a little bit. “Here’s a couple of links to some things that I’ve done that speak to my work,” etc. Or they always default to, “Great, I’ll write a proposal.”

Well, none of those responses or reactions are necessarily correct unless you’re reading the situation properly. So I think there are three potential outcomes after an initial conversation with the prospect. One might be sending some educational materials. “Hey, let me send you a couple of links because it sounds like we, my organization, me, have solved this problem before, and it’s a little early on in the process for you to be in the buy stage. So take a look at this, and this might help you understand and shape how you view the problem, Mr. or Miss Client.”

The second one might be, “Ah, okay, you’re trying to feel us out, seeing if we’re a good fit for you. Let me send you a capabilities deck. Let me send you an overview of who we are, what we do, the types of problems that we solve. Maybe somebody else sent you or advised you to reach out to us, but you really don’t understand the breadth and depth of who we are and what we do. In that situation, you want to send out something that’s representative of your capabilities.”

The third one is, “Great, let me send you a proposal. We’ve actually shaped out what a solution would look like. We’ve identified a problem, we’ve probably touched on budget during the conversation, we’ve touched on timing, and we’ve discussed ownership of the decision-making process.”

So anyway, be thoughtful about what you send and when you send it relative to the situation that you’re in, and if you’re not sure, take some time to think about where it might fit and what might be most effective for you and for that potential client. Love to hear your thoughts.

Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

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