One Comment, Twenty Answers

“We’ve cut back on all consulting in this economy.”

• That’s what a lot of my current clients first said to me.
• I don’t blame you. The key is which ones you retain.
• You don’t grow through reducing.
• Have you replaced the external expertise you’re losing with internal resources?
• But I’m not talking about paying for consulting, I’m talking about investing in results. Are you now ignoring ROI?
• Let’s not even talk about a fee or a project. Just tell me the three priorities for your organization right now.
• You haven’t eliminated your insurance, have you? I’m the same type of investment, a small expense to protect a huge asset.
• Who is “we”? Is that you, the division, the organization?
• What if we established a value and return so powerful that it had to be funded?
• Are you employees going to be performing at their highest potential, which you need now more than ever, if you’re not making an investment to ensure that happens?
• Are your clients going to remain loyal if you decrease your attention to them? Wouldn’t you be interested in low-cost, high-return methods to enhance loyalty?
• Don’t you think some of your competitors are using this opportunity to “steal a march” on you while you decrease your efforts to compete?
• Are you cutting back on all your investments? Are you reducing employee benefits, cutting client responsiveness, reducing hours of operation? If so, you need me more than ever.
• What next? Are you going to sell your desk? Cut your phone service?
• If I created a proposal that showed a conservative 20:1 return on investment, are you telling me you wouldn’t consider it? Isn’t this the time you need those returns?
• What if I gave you a very favorable fee and payment terms?
• Don’t you need best practices from an outside source to help you ensure maximum productivity during these times?
• Tell me what you’d need from me that would change your mind and treat both of us equitably as partners in your improvement?
• Don’t you want to invest in your all-stars and best assets to help pull you through these tough times?
• That’s what these four organizations that went bankrupt said.

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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3 Responses to One Comment, Twenty Answers

  1. John Shaver says:

    Alan,

    Great list of answers to that comment. We have heard similar comments from some of our customers as well.

    Here’s one to add:

    Are the issues that I was helping you to resolve going away because the economy is slowing down? Most likely those issues are more critical than ever.

    One answer that I would hesitate to give though is giving favorable fees and payment terms. My thinking is that it is more important than ever for us to not deviate from our current pricing and terms. Isn’t our knowledge more valuable when times are tough?

  2. My online consulting went up over the last year, I guess I’m consulting those on the bottom of the economy to begin with!

  3. Alan Weiss says:

    From your web site name, I doubt that you’re a consultant, but if you’re doing well, good for you.

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