You want your dream clients to find you interesting, insightful, and compelling. You want them to recognize that you are the value (or a very big part of it). You want to be Mr. Trusted Advisor or Ms. Consultative Salesperson. If you’re going to be this for your dream clients, you’re going to have to have some chops.
A slide deck isn’t chops. A teachable insight ain’t chops, either. You can’t fake chops. You either got some chops or you ain’t got no chops.
Chops is knowing your own business inside and out. It’s knowing your industry so well it’s scary. Chops is about the business end of the stick. It’s about making things happen. It’s knowing how to help your clients get results.
Chops is knowing how business works in a more general sense. If you want chops turn off Howard Stern and turn on CNBC. If you want chops put down Sports Illustrated and pick up Forbes, Fortune, or SUCCESS. You’ll get some chops when you are as interested in financial statements as you are Fantasy Football. Business chops!
If you want chops go get some dirt on you. Go get bloody. Go find experiences that push you beyond anything you’ve done up until this point. Chops is made up of situational knowledge (or experience, if you prefer that word). You have to have failed. You have to have spent some time in the deep end of the pool.
You can get chops by sitting at the knee of people who have chops while they educate you (they may not know anything about Twitter, but they know a lot about how business gets done, and they understand human relationships–something you still need if you want chops).
You only get chops by being intellectually curious, by being truly interested in your customer’s business. You’d don’t get chops by being interested only in the part of your customer’s business that affects whether you win or lose an opportunity. You get chops by being interested in how their business works, by making the connections between the outcomes you can deliver and the impact on the rest of the business.
You need chops. Go get you some.
How do you learn to create the value your clients need you to create?
What makes you a trusted advisor? What make you consultative?
What experiences do you need to get the situational knowledge you need?
Are you intellectually curious? What interests you about business? Your dream client’s business?