Do you ever feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle in your consulting sales, trying to prove your value to potential consulting clients?
Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you didn’t have to jump through hoops just to show that you can help them?
The more value your prospective clients associate with you, the more they want to work with you — and the more they are willing to invest in you.
You might think that you need to give away “free” consulting to demonstrate your value. That’s not the case.
Giving away free consulting can actually lower your perceived value. Pricing is marketing — and “free” is often perceived as low-value.
So what can you do?
How can you demonstrate value before you actually begin working with the client?
Watch the video below to learn how:
By the end of this post, you’ll have two strategies to prove your value as a consultant that not only make consulting sales easier — but help you command higher consulting fees as well.
One of the best places to add value to prospective clients is during your initial conversations with them.
Have the “value” conversation with them. This is where you ask deep, meaningful questions that uncover the value your consulting will create for your client.
Newer, inexperienced consultants typically don’t even have the value conversation.
Instead, they only ask shallow, scripted questions like…
- “Tell me a little about your business?”
- “Who is your target market?”
- “What is your budget for this project?”
These questions are not valuable. They don’t prompt your client to think deeply.
Here’s an example of what you might ask during a value conversation:
- “What is the monetary value of achieving this goal?”
- The Dan Sullivan Question: “If we were having this discussion three years from today, and you were to look back over those three years to today, what has to have happened, both personally and professionally, for you to feel happy about your progress?”
- “In recent conversations with leaders in X industry Y and Z topics keep coming up as top of mind for most of these leaders, are you also spending time thinking about these?”
- “What will achieving this mean for you personally?”
These questions help to uncover value. They help your client articulate their desired future state. They tease out the tangible value. They also tease out the intangible value — what it means to the buyer personally to achieve these goals.
Often, by answering these value-based questions, your client must think about things they never thought about. Not only are your questions insightful, they are valuable for the buyer to hear and think about.
The value conversation also helps you raise your consulting fees. By identifying the monetary value of the project, you can charge a percentage of the financial upside instead of arbitrary measures like hourly billing or project-based fees.
Build Authority By Creating Intellectual Property
Another powerful way to add value to prospective clients is through your intellectual property.
Intellectual property is content that demonstrates your expertise. It’s also helpful to your potential clients.
That could mean…
- Articles (web, magazines, trade publications)
- Case studies
- Online training
There are endless formats for creating intellectual property.
So, what makes it so powerful?
As a consultant, your “product” is your expertise and your thinking. Intellectual property is how you demonstrate your expertise and your thinking.
If you create significant results for your clients, your intellectual property helps you show that.
The more valuable intellectual property you publish and promote, the higher your perceived value.
Ask yourself: what are you doing every day to…
- a) Create intellectual property, and
- b) promote that intellectual property?
Ensure that you have a balanced marketing strategy. Spend some time every day reaching out directly to ideal clients. But also spend time working on your intellectual property — and promoting it.
When clients reach out to you because of your intellectual property, they already know you, like you, and usually feel a higher level of trust in you.
They value you before you’ve even spoken to. That’s an authoritative position to be in that will make all your consulting sales easier.
100% Increase In Consulting Sales: Martin Krumbein
Martin Krumbein, Germany-based operations and strategy consultant, was stuck charging an hourly rate. This prevented him from growing and scaling his business. He knew he was delivering massive value for his clients — but he didn’t know how to market this value or charge for it.
By using these two strategies — and with the help of our Clarity Coaching Program — Martin was able to double his revenue.
How did he do it?
First, he published case studies on his consulting website. This gave him intellectual property to promote. He shared it on LinkedIn, where his potential clients gather online.
His case studies show his potential clients that he can achieve their desired results. They also prompt clients to reach out to Martin — so they can learn how he can create said results for their business.
Second, he improved his value conversation skills. He gained more clarity on the value he was creating for his clients — and got specific in terms of how he was improving their bottom lines. This allowed him to completely restructure his pricing and command higher fees without changing his core offering.
Martin even landed two new consulting retainers, which generate predictable and recurring revenue for his consulting business.
Imperfect Action: 2 Actions To Boost Your Consulting Sales
Don’t withhold your value until you start working with a client.
If you want to work with more clients, you’ll add value before the buying process even begins.
Start by improving your value conversation skills. Ask deeper, more meaningful questions. Identify the tangible and intangible value your expertise can create for your client. Make a 30-minute conversation with you about the best thing your prospects can do for their business this week.
Then, get serious about creating intellectual property — and sharing it. Make a habit out of writing, podcasting, videos — the medium is up to you. But spend at least 25 minutes a day working on your intellectual property. And whenever you make something new, share it: on your LinkedIn profile, with past clients & previous clients, other key players in your industry, etc.
Consulting is all about value — real and perceived. By leveraging these two strategies, you’ll improve both.
The more value you demonstrate, the more value your clients are willing to invest in your services.
Want to increase your consulting revenues by 100% (or more) like Martin?
In our Clarity Coaching Program, we’ll walk you through step-by-step each question you need to ask to identify value so you can raise your fees — and help you create a plan to publish and promote authority-building content consistently.