How do you know if a prospective consulting client is ready to buy?
Andrew Sobel, in his book Power Questions, outlines four conditions that must be met in order for someone to be ready to buy your services.
The four conditions are:
1. Is there a problem or opportunity? These are the only two things that matter. Without a clear problem in mind or an opportunity to achieve a great result, a prospect will never buy. You must ask the right questions to determine if a problem or opportunity exists.
The consulting business comes down to relationships. A buyer won’t engage you because of your website or if you have a cool company name.
2. Does the person “own” the problem? This comes down to determining if the person you are speaking with is the real buyer? Do they have decision making and buying authority? Is this an issue that they are tasked with fixing? If not, you’re not talking with the right person.
3. Does the buyer have a healthy dissatisfaction with the current offering or the rate of improvement? Its one thing for a buyer to say they have a problem, they must also feel enough pain or discomfort in their current situation where they will commit to making a change.
4. Does the buyer trust you and believe you’re the best alternative they have? The keyword here is Trust. The consulting business comes down to relationships. A buyer won’t engage you because of your website or if you have a cool company name. They buy from you because they trust you and believe that you are the right person to help them get the results they are after.
These four conditions provide a great outline and starting point for you to ensure your conversations and meetings begin with the right direction and focus.