Evangelisation or the challenge of the pioneers

This word has always amused me.
It has a basically religious meaning.
I say it comes from the Gospel.
That is to say, they are those who bring the good news.

But, recently, it’s been used especially in the technology world when it comes to making people aware of things they’re not interested in at the moment.

So nowadays you can find on LinkedIn positions like this:

  • Technical Evangelist
  • Evangelist Manager
  • Product Evangelist
  • Technology Evangelist.
  • Innovation Evangelist
  • UX/UI Evangelist

The one that has caught my attention the most is the “Chief Evangelist Officer” which combines the CxO and Evangelist fashions.
Nobody really knows what he is evangelising about.
The truth is that I was curious and I checked the profile and I can assure you that there is nothing religious about it.
Digital revolution, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data.
Nothing religious.
If you need an Evangelist in your company then this is your candidate.

But the truth is that there are projects that need evangelist work.

Let me tell you.

A few days ago I was called to a meeting.
They explain to me a project they are launching.
It is already quite well defined and working on a small scale.
They wanted to know my opinion.

The truth is that I see it well.
Let’s see what I can tell them without undermining client-consultant confidentiality.
It is getting orders via word of mouth.
It solves problems for clients at a reasonable cost and is profitable for the provider.
This means that, with little effort, it has already proven its viability.
We have a minimum viable product on the market. Great!

It is not a technological project.
But it is novel.
And that’s why I’m being asked for my opinion.

It fills a need that small businessmen and entrepreneurs have but are not always aware of.
And therein lies the problem.
The challenge.
The one that ties in with evangelism.

So far it has been able to get off the ground in the form of word of mouth.
Simply talk to acquaintances or take advantage of meetings and, by listening to the interlocutor, you can see that they are dedicating time and effort to those tasks that you could solve for them.
It is then relatively easy to offer your services.

The tricky thing is to find a way to grow this outside the network of personal contacts.

I have a solution to a problem you don’t know you have.
You probably do.
My solution is probably valuable to you.
But where do we meet?

What keywords does someone who has that need search for if they are not actually aware that they have it?
They are never really going to look for that service.
It doesn’t even cross his mind that there might be companies that do that function.
Because it is new.

And that is where the work of evangelisation comes in.
Before selling, you have to let people know that they need it.

In other words, it is very easy to sell security alarms in a building the day after one of the neighbours has been robbed.
Until then, nobody was aware of it.
They wouldn’t even answer the intercom.
But on that day there is psychosis.
They will listen to you with the card in your hand.
If I sold alarms I would be looking at how to tap into the police radio (that was from the 80’s movies, I don’t think it works anymore, but I’m sure there are other ways).

So, in my humble opinion, the main point they have to work on is that evangelisation campaign.
You have to think about specific niches, specific people who may have that need, and find a way to make them think about whether they have that need.
Think about where these people can be found: what things can they look for even if they have nothing to do with what you are offering them?
And once you know where to find them, don’t try to sell to them.
You have to make them think about whether they have the need.
Ask them questions: How much time do you spend on this? How could you improve your business if instead of wasting your time doing this you were working on growing the business?

Once you have their attention, if your proposal is valuable and the offer is reasonable, the sale is the easy part.

Not all projects have that need.
But projects that are, shall we say, ahead of their time do. Pioneers. Projects that reach the market before the market is ready for them.

The effort for these projects, and the great risk, lies in the marketing campaign.
In making the need known first and then your solution.

Do you have a fantastic product that nobody buys?
(Because, let’s be honest, our product is always perfect, the problem is somewhere else).
The first thing is to ask yourself, is my client looking for a solution like mine?
If not, is my customer looking for a solution to the problem I solve?
And if not, then what is my customer looking for that will allow me to make him think about whether he has the problem that my product solves?

These are nuances in the questions but they are important nuances.