Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Consultant "Selling" Style

Please help me welcome guest blogger, Nicos Leon, of Leon Consulting. Selling Secrets for Consultants "Selling" Consultant Style Consider the proper mindset required to get the sales order. First, I must convince myself that my goal is not to get the order. I am an independent business consultant, selling consulting services, and my ultimate goal is to make more money now and in the future. In order to make that happen I need orders from clients. Contrary to what a significant number of my peers do, the first thing I do is to change completely my mindset. I must realize that my goal is not to get an order. My goal is to form a relationship whereby a customer feels at ease to buy from me. It is a completely different vantage point. In the fist case I am pushy. The preferred approach: the customer buys (and pulls) a solution from me. How then can I make a customer buy from me? What must I achieve? What are the "Intermediate Conditions" I must achieve in order to meet my goal? In other words “What are the steps a customer must take before deciding to give me the order?" There are 6 steps in my process:
  1. They must accept that there is a problem
  2. They must accept that the problem is so acute they cannot live without solving it.
  3. They must understand that this problem can be solved
  4. They must realize that after this problem is solved they will be in a better situation
  5. They must be convinced that I can help them solve the problem
  6. They must be convinced that I can help them solve this problem better (and/or faster) than my competition
These 6 intermediate objectives are hierarchical in nature, and must be achieved in the order listed. If one of the steps has not been achieved, it would be useless to jump to the next one. Furthermore, I must guide the customer closely through this process; I have to employ adequate strategy, tactics and execution to achieve each step. Each step requires its own unique tactics. Make sense? We must understand this framework before attempting to implement the process. Nicos Leon Senior Business Consultant Athens Greece
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