Consultative Selling: How to Sell More Even if You Don’t Like Selling

Consulting-Selling

Every consultant needs to sell. There, I’ve said it.

I know, you may not be excited about the prospect of having to sell.

Whether you’re trying to land a $5000 project or a $500,000 project, the same Consultative Sales Process can be used.

It might scare you and have you wanting to tuck your head out of sight.

If that’s you, you need to get over it.

Selling isn’t a choice. Every single one of us needs to sell.

The problem with selling isn’t that it’s hard – it’s not.

The real problem consultants have with the idea of sales is that they misunderstand what sales is all about.

If you’ve watched Glengarry Glen Ross or visited too many used car sales lots in the 80s or 90s you’ve got the wrong idea.

The best sales people sell through conversation in what is called Consultative Selling. The process of asking and uncovering your buyers needs and wants so you 1) determine if your product/service is the right fit for them and 2) position your offer so that your ideal buyers buy.

Whether you’re trying to land a $5000 project or a $500,000 project, the same Consultative Sales Process can be used.

Over the years I’ve honed this process down to the essentials. I teach it to the consultants in my coaching program. Continue Reading

Marketing for Consultants Survey Results 2014

The results are in…

We asked over 15,000 consultants how they market their consulting services as we do each year.

We’ve compiled the results and created an infographic that shows you what type of marketing consultants are finding most effective and what is the most ineffective.

See the full infographic with survey results below: Continue Reading

How to Turn a $5K Consulting Project Into $54K

6-x-consulting-fees

Ken Blankenfeld is a consultant to the construction industry. He’s a corporate veteran managing projects valued at more than $500 Million.

In his previous role as a VP, before going out as a consultant, Ken took the company from $6 Million to $85 Million in four years.

Yet when he launched his consulting business he found it challenging to consistently land his ideal clients.

Since Ken joined my coaching program he’s seeing marketing in a different way and the results show. In this interview, you’ll learn how Ken turned a $5K consulting project into a $54K project – and he says it was the easiest sale he’s made (and he doesn’t like selling!).

If you’d like to learn how to consistently attract your ideal clients, increase your income and grow your business fill in the form here and let’s setup a time to talk.

Increase Your Fees with the Right Consulting Clients

Increasing-Fees

The average price for a detached home in my city is $1.29M (yes, that’s mi-lli-on).

As a result many young couples are moving into the suburbs to find a home they can afford.

Remember, you can always earn more. There is no limit to what you can earn as a consultant.

Others are deciding to re-arrange their priorities and live in a condo in the city – giving up space for convenience.

The housing market is like consulting.

I drive or walk by homes that sell for $4-10M almost every day.

That’s a great deal of money. Yet, people buy and sell these homes throughout the city all the time.

As a consultant you might want to earn more and yet believe that you can’t raise your fees…that people won’t be willing to pay more.

Here’s the thing, you can always charge more.

Just like I can show you a house that is listed for $5M I can also point one out that is on for $7.5M and even $15M.

And like one consultant can charge $5000 per project, I can show you another consultant that receives $50,000 per project, and another that gets $200,000 per project. Continue Reading

Why You NEED to Disagree With Clients

Diagree-Clients

If you want to win the trust of your clients, disagree with them.

Tom Denari, in his article on Ad Age, says “After two decades in this business, I’ve come to conclude that one of the most important pillars of a productive client-agency relationship — or, heck, maybe any relationship — is disagreement.”

Yes, you read that right. Clients want you to disagree with them and here’s why…

Because your client is surrounded by all these “yes” people, your disagreement comes as a breath of fresh air.

Your clients, the true buyers in an organization, are surrounded by people that will say “yes” to them all day, every day.

These are employees or managers sitting below your buyer on the ladder.

They are scared to go up against their boss imagining that they will receive a harsh verbal whipping. Continue Reading

5 Ways to Know Your Buyer Is the Real Deal

Real-Deal

The consultant spent hours driving between their home office and the buyer’s corporate office.

She did her research on the company, prepared documents and event an initial report to show her eagerness and enthusiasm to work with this buyer.

They care about value, ROI and results and your fee isn’t important as long as the value and return makes sense for them.

For 4 weeks she rode the rollercoaster: feeling excited by the prospect of landing this buyer as a client, and the stress of wondering if the email she just sent was off-the-mark and if her latest meeting could have gone better.

The consultant emailed the buyer as she hadn’t heard back in 10 days. The buyer responds a day later saying they need more time.

This is an all too common scenario consultant’s face.

It happens most often when you’ve failed to identify if you’re dealing with a real buyer.

Here are 5 ways to know your buyer is the real deal:

Continue Reading

5 Reasons High Consulting Fees Don’t Lose Business

High-Consulting-Fees

If you’ve ever entered into a conversation with your ideal buyer only to have your proposal declined because your fees were too high, I feel for you.

Unfortunately, it’s not your buyers problem, it’s yours.

There are many other reasons your proposal may be declined and the buyer will tell you your fees are too high.

If you’ve followed the right steps your proposal shouldn’t be a surprise to your buyer, it should be a welcomed invitation to start working together.

Here are the most common reasons consultants lose business when a buyer thinks the fee is too high…

  1. You failed to ask about the buyer’s budget. If you had, and if your buyer stated a budget that was unrealistic you could and should have addressed right then and there.
  2. You haven’t clearly explained and communicated the ROI that will be created as a result of the project. Your buyer likely sees your fee as an expense, not an investment.
  3. Your relationship with the buyer is weak. Ultimately buyers want to hire people they like and trust. If you haven’t developed the relationship to that level, it’s unlikely you’ll win their business.
  4. Your proposal attempted to sell your services, when it should summarize what you and the buyer have already agreed upon. Remember, the proposal doesn’t win you the business, the business should have already been won and the proposal is what you use to make it official and get things started.
  5. You mistook the buyer for an ideal buyer. Meaning that they never had the intention to actually buy, or at least not anytime soon. They simply wanted to collect information and you failed to ask the right questions upfront to confirm this.

Continue Reading

Attracting C-Suite and Corporate Buyers

C-Suite-Peeps

C-Suite, as in C-Suite executives (CEO, CFO, CTO, etc) aren’t the most responsive to cold calls and general advertisements.

When a C-Suite exec has a problem they are looking to solve or to get help from someone to lead a new initiative they look for experts.

Once you have the right strategy setup however, your phone can start ringing, your email box filling with inquiries from C-Suite and other ideal buyers that are interested in hiring you.

They’ll pick up the phone and call their own contacts, people they trust, and ask for a recommendation.

They’ll also think about who they know or have seen that they believe is an expert in the area they are looking for help in.

Now, who do you think their contacts will recommend? Of course, they’ll suggest someone they know personally – that’s IF they have a personal recommendation. More often, they’ll suggest contacting someone they have heard about or seen.

That means 2 out of 3 opportunities are created by being visible in the marketplace. Continue Reading

4 Steps to Get More Consulting Clients

Steps-To-Get-More-Clients

Getting more clients doesn’t have to be hard.

It takes persistence and some work, but if you’re serious about growing your business that shouldn’t be a problem.

You must be able to get their attention and then get them interested and engaged so you can have a conversation with them.

Here’s what you need to do…

Identify who your ideal clients are – the ones that you’ll enjoy working with the most, the most profitable and the clients you can deliver maximum value for.

Find out where they are – do they attend specific events, seminars, read specific publications.

Get in front of them – once you know where they are, now it’s time for you to get in front of them. That might mean setting up a meeting, writing an article, giving a talk or something else. But you need to get in front of them.

Create attention and interest – your positioning, value proposition and messaging need to be on point and relevant to your ideal client. You must be able to get their attention and then get them interested and engaged so you can have a conversation with them.

Consultants that work through that process see significant results. The challenge many people face is that they don’t do this.

They often know they should, or have other ideas of what they should do, and they put it off, for one reason or another. Continue Reading

Taking Time Off Is a Business Priority

Taking-Time-Off

The idea that the more you work the more successful you’ll be is absurd.

It’s like the person that earns $250,000 a year and has no savings or investments. Ridiculous at best.

Working flat out and delaying holidays and breaks doesn’t help your business, it hurts it.

Some of the most successful consultants I’ve worked with take off at least 12 weeks for holidays each year.

You don’t have to match that. Just get started…

If you’ve been putting off taking your family or spouse on a holiday, plan it, put it on your calendar and do it.

It doesn’t have to be a round-the-world trip. It can be as simple as booking a hotel in your own city, arranging a half day off to take your kids for a hike, or treat yourself at the spa.

Running on all engines and working flat out can only last so long. Your mind, body and soul need time to rest.

Time to re-energize.

Some of your most creative and powerful ideas will come to you when you’re not working.

The most common objection I hear is, “But Michael, I just need to make an extra $15,000 and then I’ll take my family on a trip.” Continue Reading