Some trainers make it out to be so simple, like ‘painting by numbers’. Stay within the lines, use the right colours, and you’ll close the sale. They present their proprietary sales process as the ultimate solution.
But look at it this way … when you put ‘painting by numbers’ next to a Rembrandt it isn’t art, is it?
To become great at selling consultancy you need to learn to paint your own picture, not just copy it from someone else*. You need to figure out what your sales process is and then refine it.
How to do that
Start by considering the three key components of selling consultancy:
- Finding prospects.
- Uncovering high-value projects.
- Converting proposals into contracts.
Each component can be broken down into sub-components. For example your ‘find prospects’ might look something like this:
a) Identify the problems you can solve for clients.
b) Define the size and scope of projects you want to win.
c) Choose 10 organisations who use external consultants for these type of projects.
d) Gather names of 3 executives in each of these organisations (now you have 30 targets)
Once you have the sub-components written down you’re well on the way. Now use what you have consistently. See what works well, do more of that. See what doesn’t work well, improve or change that.
Do this for each component and you’ll end up with a unique system for finding, defining, and converting high-value consultancy projects. That’s so much better than ‘painting by numbers’.
The bottom line
Sales process is useful when it’s used as a mechanism to measure and systematically improving sales performance.
Know what your sales process is and then, where necessary, improve it.
- It’s ok to start with a template. The point is to make it your own. Sales trainers don’t have the monopoly on best practice.