Painkillers vs. Vitamins
Why the best marketing strategy is so dependent on what exactly it is you're offering
Last week I wrote a post on LinkedIn sharing some business development advice for all the newly promoted partners in my network. The post was surprisingly popular, especially this tip:
Are you offering a vitamin or a painkiller? Your biz dev strategy should depend on the nature of the services you offer. For example, if you’re offering a “vitamin,” something that will prevent future problems (e.g. estate planning) you’ll need to invest heavily in educating your audience. On the other hand, if you’re offering a “painkiller,” a solution that solves an immediate urgent problem (e.g. criminal defense) you’ll need to invest heavily into mindshare, so clients will remember who to call when problems arise.
Given the interest, I thought I’d share a few more thoughts I have about vitamins vs. painkillers, especially since they’re a great way to frame how you approach biz dev. These ideas aren’t 100% original and are based on articles I’ve read, conversations I’ve had with sales pros, and just my entire experience watching legal sales over the past 8 years.1
But first, let me break down the difference between the two.