Using data to create pain
Wherever possible, use data to create pain. It works.
For instance, I heard an account exec at a security company make a great pitch the other day. Sites with security breaches can be fined something like $50,000 per incidence by the state of California. They can lose their ability to do business with Visa and MasterCard instantly if they don’t meet their high standards, which can cost all of their revenues. And international issues can also cost money, as standards outside the US are even stricter.
She then offered a free remote security audit of a pre-production web site, an offer I couldn’t refuse. Who wants to risk a $50,000 fine or loss of Visa approval (even if we are pre-production on this particular site and way below the radar)?
Of course, when the results came back, how could I not hire her to fix the issues she uncovered, especially when she explained how she would fix the various issues?
I’m not sure what services you sell to whom. But I hope you collect data from third party sources that will help you create pain and make your case.