Sorry, You’re Not A Consultant

Cognitive dissonance is a state where two conflicting ideas or experiences collide. Many people in consulting and related professional services are almost incapacitated by this phenomenon, because their frustration and stress are exponentially increased.

And I’m here to tell you why that is.

If you call yourself a “consultant” but are usually hired merely to complete a task for the client, you are not a consultant, you are a subcontractor or part-time employee. This is especially prevalent among “IT consultants.” If you are paid to write code or program some sequence simply because the client has no one around who can do it—and a thousand people like you can do it equally well and exactly the same way—you’re not a consultant. (And you’re subject to enormous price pressures, because you’re a commodity.)

Consequently, if you call yourself a consultant, but find that you can only charge a few dollars an hour, have to work at someone else’s beck and call, and have zero differentiation, you’re facing one heck of a set of conflicting ideas and experiences every waking hour. At the very least, that’s beyond depressing.

Consultants help improve the client’s condition by providing ideas, advice, intellectual property, best practices, proprietary approaches, unique behavior and other interventions which not only make them distinctly attractive, but draw people to them. Consultants are not another pair of hands. They are a new brain.

If you are hired by clients to teach courses the clients have already developed, you’re not a consultant. You are a contract trainer, simply providing help that their own training people (or lack of them) can’t handle. You are one of kibillions of people who could do that. But if you design the program, or bring unique intellectual property to it, or arrange for it to be conducted remotely, then you are a consultant, improving the client’s condition in your distinctive way.

If you contribute a chapter to a book, you are not a book author. If you create a work of 20 chapters contributed by other people you haven’t created a book, you’ve created a compilation. If you have four insurance products to sell in health, property, life, and disability coverage, you’re not an “insurance consultant,” you’re an insurance agent. We scoff at garbage collectors—who perform important work—who call themselves “sanitary engineers.” Why is that ludicrous, but a speaker with a single speech calling himself a “sales consultant” is not?

I found a teacher from nearby Warwick—on strike—in a coffee shop here once calling herself not a teacher, but a “Warwick educator.” Maybe that’s part of the problem.

I wrote an earlier piece here on the blog about not lying to me by first not lying to yourself. If you continue to call yourself one thing but act in a completely different fashion, the lie you try to maintain will cause you great stress, because the goal you seek can’t be found on the road you’re traveling.

Everyone in a bank is a vice president today. Yet most of them can’t even authorize a new set of checks, let alone find you a loan. You are not your fancy business card, no matter how many colors, photos, and cute sayings you print on it.

If you want to reduce the horrific, subliminal stress and agita caused by cognitive dissonance, change your behavior to match your objectives. You can’t call yourself a consultant and act like a hired hand without doing damage to your ego.

You don’t follow your dream by following all the people in front of you and lying to yourself that somehow you’re really different. Move out of the crowd and actually be different.

Try this: Print a business card with just your name and contact information. When someone asks, “Who are you with and what do you do?” tell them, “I’m with me, and I help you.”

© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved.


41 thoughts on “Sorry, You’re Not A Consultant

  1. Amen to that.

    The more I practice what you recommend, the happier I am.
    Indeed because I am a new brain.

    The part in bold and italics is now in my filofax along other Alanisms. They help in keeping me on the right road, despite the tendency to go back to “the old ways.”

  2. I love this one Alan! But can we also add those “theorists” who give advice on and about businesses and topics where they themselves have never actually and successfully accomplished any real results?

  3. Have been reading your work and blog for quite a long time. This is my first comment on the blog , because just couldn’t resist it.

    The distinction you have drawn is absolutely brilliant , so crystal clear and totally ‘bang on’. Nothing could have clarified the distinction better.

    Thanks for all your intellectual property, which continually enriches me.

  4. I am still unsure what benefit one derives from naming what they do something different? How does that help your sales process, customer satisfaction and job longevity?
    The language used creates the reality of how you see your world and also how other see you in reference to their world. Properly naming your value(s) should increase personal satisfaction as well as customers satisfaction with you.

  5. Arun, thanks. Keep posting.

    Michael: I think you’re agreeing with me, not sure. What you should talk about in terms of what you do is being accurate and transparent. Don’t call yourself something that you are patently not.

  6. Absolutely fantastic! I am a new follower of your blog and your work (since about 3 weeks ago!) and have found that you consistently stike at the heart of matters in a candid way that is both entertaining and enriching. Keep up the great work, and I will continue to listen and learn!

  7. Alan, I agree with everything you said except for the pricing. Being a true consultant does not let you escape from having competition. With enough competition, even a true consultant becomes a commodity.

  8. You’re simply dead wrong. If you think you’re only as good as the competition, or allow the prospect to believe that, then you are only a commodity. Your comment originates either out of a complete ignorance of marketing value, or low self-esteem. No one in my mentor community is a commodity, believe me.

    But the more you think that way, the more you’ll be one. You sound as if you’re in IT consulting, by the way, just a guess.

  9. Hi Alan,

    I love that phrase “I’m with me, and I help you”.

    It wasn’t until I went solo that I realised how much the world is geared up for the mundane. Events are flummoxed if you don’t have a job title or company name to put on a badge. PAs always ask, where are you calling from (my office, I guess).

    I’ve really enjoyed “becoming” me and being different over the last few years.

    Ian

  10. Hmm. I didn’t expect such an arrogant and uninspired response. You didn’t disprove anything I said; you simply denied it. No, I’m in performance improvement consultant. I provide innovative answers to my customers’ problems by helping them think out of the box. And yes, I have competition, and yes, I sometimes get beat on price.

  11. To the ignorant eye it may seem arrogant, but to those who understand real value, it is manna from heaven.

    If you and everyone else in your market are selling the same innovation, then it’s not innovative. So yeah, price may be all that’s left. And like Alan said, that makes you and what you offer, a commodity product. If you’re happy with that, then you have to slug it out with a gazillion other commodity consultants. Alan’s point is that there is a better way if you can define, offer and then deliver more value than anyone else. Nothing arrogant about that – it’s simply technically correct.

    Regardless, the point is the level of differentiated value you offer – not the amount of competition you think you have.

    If you need inspiration, then I’d suggest you wrap your head around a recalibrated definition of the value you offer and forget the competition because you really don’t have any but the level of value you, yourself, deliver. Then calculate the improved sales and profit potential from being able to stand out of the crowd and begin to attract clients instead of fighting just to answer every RFP.

  12. Oh, boy, I’m arrogant again.

    Let’s see who’s arrogant. I’ve consulted with 300 of the Fortune 1000, written more books on solo consulting than anyone in history, create new intellectual property weekly, and have mentored over a thousand consultants (and a couple of thousand business executives).

    And you—well who are you?? Some guy with an opinion which protects him from the fact he can’t differentiate his own value?!

    You think you can just say, sorry, but there is competition and I get beat on price, not because I’m inept, but because your experience is wrong??

    You’ve got to be kidding. If you were smart, you’d drop the smart-ass bit and get with the program. I have a vibrant community with an abundance mentality, not a poverty mentality, which you exhibit.

    My vast experience and writing disprove you. You’re an example of someone who says you’re right irrespective of others who prove otherwise. And of course, since you can’t intellectually debate the point, you call me arrogant. Perfect!

  13. I love the examples in this post, and agree with Alan on all points – even though I do wish you wouldn’t habitually call out the IT industry’s professionals as a group as if we were all “code monkeys.” Please note the period inside the quotation mark. And the obscure reference to Jonathan Coulton’s musical excellence.

    I can replace “IT” with OD, IP, BI, BT, HR (shudder) or any acronymical variation. I do believe you made these points with the excellent observations in the post, but just wish IT-oriented professionals and consultants weren’t always lumped into such a group.

    As a young executive 15 years ago in a small $20 million company (before I entered IT – three degrees in business under my belt), I saw some of the worst, commodity-based OD “consulting” work provided by a self-proclaimed expert with lots of meaningless letters after his name, but who insisted on asinine corporate retreats, formulaic workshops, and DISC profiles. One business transformation consultant that wooed our CFO transformed a division into extinction.

    As Alan often says, improving the client’s condition is what makes one a consultant. If it means bringing inspired business process automation, workflow streamlining, or innovation assessment and reporting to fruition via IT skills, then you’re a consultant. If it means building template-based websites, writing uninspired Java code, or selling a software box, not so much. But you can do both. One can support the other. They can be countercyclical.

    The thing is, I also agree in part with Gary. Even the best can be beat on price, if you don’t happen to be known by the buyer or come highly recommended. And sometimes, this is the case – but you can almost always bet that you’ve dropped into the commodity space when it happens. It certainly can be true in government work where the law can prohibit direct contact with what would otherwise be considered economic buyers. But even in government, where fixed fee is now the preferred purchasing method in the U.S., price is typically near the end of the list of qualifying criteria. I have recently studied hundreds of government solicitations and this is certainly the case when the work is high-skills-oriented.

    Gary, Alan has unassailable self-esteem. Your comment about arrogance will affect him like a drop, nay, a molecule of water affects a hot Teflon-coated pan.

    That said, Alan, I think you were a little harsh on Gary there. He only stated that he was not immune to pricing competition and you hit him hard with the self-esteem argument, which was not posed in your article.

    I do love the paragraph in bold and believe it to be the absolute truth in consulting. Had you not written, what, 37 books(?), this paragraph would define our profession. Maybe it still does…

    Kind regards,
    -Rob

  14. Rob – why are you getting so defensive? I’m just making textbook behavioral observations. I’m not judging you. I don’t even know you!

    I’m glad you’ve written so many books. I’m not a writer, but I admire those who can. However, having your opinion in print doesn’t make you right about everything.

    I’ve conversed with many “consultants” just like you. Stating the obvious for those who need it is ok, but it isn’t innovative. Creating a religion around your beliefs is worse. Just because many of the things you preach are correct does not mean you are always correct. Taken with a grain of salt, your advice can be helpful to many.

    Competition is a fact of life. Price is one of the variables. Saying otherwise is irresponsible and misleading.

    Nothing you have said disproves what I have said. I’m sorry it has come to this since I was just trying to have a conversation and you seem to have taken offense for some reason.

    You’re an example of someone who says you’re right irrespective of others who prove otherwise. And of course, since you can’t intellectually debate the point you assume you are right. Perfect! [Does anyone recognize this quote?]

  15. Gary

    I guess your response was meant for Alan, not Rob!

    Alan advocates that consultants create a brand and market presence, provide unrivaled value in their field of expertise, leverage their intellectual property and ultimately draw business in rather than chase it. Doing this eliminates the competition and price becomes a non-issue.

    If price is still an issue then you’re either not communicating your real value or you’re dealing with price shoppers and tire kickers.

    Being anything less than a leader in your field makes you just one of the many and subject to the demands of the market.

    I’d be interested to know who the many consultants just like Alan are that you’ve conversed with! Alan has competitors? Doubt that very much!

  16. Interesting thread 🙂

    “Competition is a fact of life. Price is one of the variables. Saying otherwise is irresponsible and misleading.”

    Sure. But there are several segments in clients. And some may not care about price, but about results with a clear ROI. Who wants an uneducated client on these matters? You’ll be making yourself miserable through your own choices. Once someone understands the word “investment,” then we can talk. Otherwise, why would you bother being around? To be yet another wage slave (albeit with a higher price tag)?

    “Even the best can be beat on price” Well, so what? You can’t win them all. And if they do not take your offer, their loss. If what you have in mind is having the customer better off by working with you, why would there be an issue on price.

    Thing is that what Alan advocates for maximum wealth works very well for solo consulting. If what you have is a large machine with staff and you need to feed it month after month, well, why did you did so in the first place and what does it brings to you as satisfaction in life? If you like it, good for you. If you suffer from it, just change your ways (and put a manager in there so that you can free your time).

    Is all this arrogant? When you can deliver, this is not “arrogant,” this is “making things happen.” Bruised egos can always have a trip to their therapist (and more should).

    And for real-world examples, I can say that I do have customers from government, international organizations, and local businesses. Even if I am a one man army. They seem happy to know me. I am happy to know them too.

  17. And by the way, consultants and contractors are a different thing.

    Even if the “tractors” think they are “sultants.” You use a tractor for mundane work (important, but mundane).

  18. If one was to not get a sale the best thing to do is to hold your hands up and say I was outsold because I did not demonstrate value.

    If the buyer was to come back and talk price then you can remove value from your service in return for a lowering or price.

    So price never need to be a problem. You just get outsold because you can’t demonstrate your value. Worse than that you have allowed someone who really needs your help to buy on price and probably not solve their problem putting their business and possibly life in peril.

    You have a responsibility to get the work if you can truly help and not allow the prospect to be so dumb as to buy on price alone.

  19. This is why I have a blog! Thanks to all, keep it up.

    Rob, I like the nuanced points! One pushback, I agree with the rest: Just because someone is occasionally beat on price in exceptional situations such as government work doesn’t mean you factor it in. And while you’re right, anyone can fall victim to Gary’s mentality not just IT folks, I am constantly finding IT consultants—more than any others—who moan and whine about their low fees and in the next breath say that they can only bill by the hour. Then get a job selling used cars.

    My reaction to Gary is strong because of two unacceptable positions: First, he can’t comprehend, because he doesn’t want to in a fit of solipsism, that my writing is based on DOING IT, and my experience is that I’ve helped tens of thousands of others DO IT. He dismisses this, feels his theoretical opinion is equal to my pragmatic experience and therefore I’m arrogant. I don’t accept that kind of intellectual paucity.

    Second, he is fixated on the wrong cause so he can never correct his lamentable situation, and I don’t want anyone else to accept that for a moment. He’s given up. “Competition lowers price.” He is, ironically, in the “innovative” field but can’t be innovative about his own value!! He doesn’t want to learn, he wants to defend his ideas.

    There’s just too much of this nonsense going around. I stand my ground when it’s thrust in my face. That’s what thought leadership is about. That’s why he’s reading my blog, and I’m not reading his.

    Olive branch: I’d be happy to accept an email from him off line, suggest some free resources, and see if he’s willing to at least explore a way out of his box.

  20. Garry – Sorry, yes it was for Alan not Rob. Let me be clear. I’m not saying the concepts are bad or don’t work. They do! My first post agreed with everything Alan said but one. Competition and price are still factors (unless a person simply chooses to ignore the ones that got away and therefore chooses to be unaware of their competition). If competition and price were not factors, by definition, EVERY fish would jump into ONLY your boat because it would be the only one available. Yes, Alan has competitors (even for his books), and they all preach similar concepts. I may post 2-3 of them of which I am aware later if I last that long on this blog.

    Phillipe – At no time did I say I was chasing price shoppers or that the concepts Alan advocates won’t work. I simply said competition and price are a factor and Alan says I am “dead wrong” which is arrogant and irresponsible as a teacher.

    Jim – Hypothetically, what makes you think the value you offer is worth the price you charge? Perhaps most potential customers don’t agree with your assessment, or knows he/she can get another “brain” providing just as much value or more, from your competitor. If the customer sees your value as equal to your competitor (perhaps you both follow Alan’s guidance) then price becomes a much bigger factor! Anyone who is not aware of this fact, is not well taught.

    Alan – “You are dead wrong”. I did not dismiss your experience. However, your vast experience doesn’t give you the right to make obviously false statements (or interpretations). I never said competition must lower price (although my example may have implied it). I simply said competition, and therefore price, are factors to be considered. You may end up raising your rates! You must agree that you cannot set your prices in a vacuum. That is all I am saying, and it is an absolute truth. Perhaps you misunderstood the intent of my original post. Yes, I would be happy to receive any advice you are willing to share (holt@effectiveprocess.com). However, don’t assume I am an ignorant commodity peddlar and I ask that next time I make a comment you try to understand what I am saying before jumping to conclusions. Absolute statements are always wrong.

  21. Hi Gary

    Absolute statements are always wrong is an absolute statement.

    If a prospect sees my value as equal to or less than my competitior then I have done somthing wrong. I am to blame.

    It’s NEVER about price.

  22. Gary,

    I had a look at your site. I saw CMMI, SCAMPI appraisals and the like.

    Well, I happen to be quite conversant in these things but… to be frank my customers hire me exactly because I am doing things differently to improve their way of working.

    Instead of killing them with these “processes,” I actually improve their way of working.

    What comes to my mind when looking at these SCAMPI things is that they really are commodities. Where is your own intellectual property there? CMMI for Services? Well, yeah, but still CMMI, which you do not own.

    Look at people like Ivar Jacobson for example, do you think he has to discuss when it comes to price? (he doesn’t, I happen to know him and can tell you). A ton of other examples do exist (albeit more of them should buy Alan’s books for raising their prices). Just check SPaMcast (The Software Process and Measurement Cast) by Tom Cagley. You’ll get such tought leaders by the truckload.

    It takes a while to think “the Alan’s way.” But then it turns your life upside down, for the better.
    And I’ve only seen the beginning, given the amount of issues I still do have to tackle (which will make my life an interesting ‘process’).

    And obviously, Alan has “competitors.” Why see them as competitors in the first place? Would you say Deming or Scholtes are competitors to Alan? [Process and Improvement] Or Napoleon Hill for that matter [Abundance Mentalitty, Relationships] (dead or alive, since we are talking about principles). What about Dale Carnegie? [Influence]

    And, how to put it, … why do you think Alan doesn’t get what you are saying? A tad defensive, isn’t it?

  23. You won’t be thrown off here for disagreeing, only if you become obscene or unprofessional, and you are neither.

    The sun always rises in the east. Absolute. Correct.

    “Obviously false statements” is YOUR opinion, and quite arrogant. You don’t have my experience, and not every opinion is equal without a certain level of experience.

    You lose business to price sensitive buyers because you have not developed a relationship wherein they trust you and believe in you to be the highest quality provider. They don’t see the ROI in your proposals. Now, if you want to dismiss that as “you can’t avoid getting beat on price” then do so, I don’t care, but you’ll never be terribly successful.

    The BEST teachers tell you when you’re dead wrong because they assume you’re not damaged, are an adult, and can take confrontation when it means you’ll learn from it. Do you want me to rub your head and say, “You have a good point, but let me show you another way?” Please.

    Read the other comments here. You’re wrong about this. Our opinions are not equal. My experience and improvement of thousands trumps your opinion and theory. Sorry. I offered that you can write me, and you leave your email for me to write you! You’re serving as a really important example here of why so many consultants are doomed by their ego needs.

    You need to tuck your ego away. You can learn or you can pretend we’re peers. We’re not. You really need to get some perspective.

  24. Jim – I know it was an absolute statement. It was supposed to be ironic humor. Interesting that you would always blame yourself; especially if both you and your competitor did exactly the same things. Is it possible the customer might value something else, like I don’t know, maybe price, more than anything else? Maybe you didn’t even get to talk to the actual customer! You can convince yourself that it wasn’t meant to be or that you “didn’t really want his business anyway”, but it still counts as a lost client, by definition. I prefer to recognize my competition and the fact that price may play a part in a potential customer’s calculations, and use that to my advantage when possible. When I cannot, I can learn from it, but I don’t deny it happened. In many cases I choose not to compete on price, in others I do because I recognize I simply need to get over that initial hurdle to get past their initial focus on price. You don’t have to be a commodity peddlar to recognize that price is one of the factors in most customer’s evaluations (many studies show this statistically and if I remember correctly the average is 93%, look them up yourself!).

    Phillipe – perhaps you don’t understand as much as you think you do. CMMI is not a process and SCAMPI is simply an appraisal method. I also use many other internationally recognized standards and methods in my consulting work because my learned customers recognize them and require extensive knowledge of them. However, they are simply tools and not solutions in themselves. The solutions I provide are directed at the specific business needs of the customer. Many factors (contractor mentalities, customer ignorance, even third party requirements) have caused the process improvement world to look more commoditized, but as I tell my customers, “short term thinking gets short term results”. No Phillipe, I have nothing to defend here. I have simply stated the fact that price is a component of competition, and you have already agreed with me.

    Alan – Absolutes are only true within a defined domain or perspective.

    You have no idea what my experience is. Your “assumption” about my experience is completely invalid, but it is your opinion and you are welcome to it. However, that does not make your opinion truth.

    Of course I lose business to buyers who have price constraints, and so do you even though you may not be aware of them. However, I have a measured closure success rate of 97% when I have personal contact with potential customers. I use many of the same concepts you promote plus a few others I’ve picked up or learned in my years of so-called non-experience. However, I also measure the “ones that got away”. I have the feeling you do not. Most often I am able to fit more value into a customer’s budget constraint than my competition. I consider this being a good consultant since not every customer has an unlimited budget. Sometimes I choose not to compete for the very same reasons you don’t like this topic.

    In my experience really good teachers (and consultants) adapt to their students (and clients) and even learn from them! You are right, we are not equal, you are losing ground with every word. It is really amusing to me for you to talk about my ego, defensiveness, and lack of experience. Good luck with yours!

    This has been fun, but it is taking too much of my time and my message has been said (and agreed with) many times so I need to stop. Sorry if I offended anyone (especially you Alan). I find it curious how many assumptions come out in a discussion like this. I hope you guys (and gals) don’t do that to your customers (not a good consultant behavior)! “Click!” [that was the sound of the “notify me” check box on this thread being unclicked].

  25. Gary,

    I am a very good example of a mentoree of Alan’s who had a great problem with accepting the value based pricing principle. It also took me some time to become used to Alan’s East Coast American style but that said I am not damaged and have learnt an enormous amount and continue to do so. Alan told me I had a poverty mentality. I like you was angry for a few minutes. Unfortunately it was true and I am better for the brutal feedback.

    Gary ego in pocket….hear the message not the delivery.

  26. Jim – I know it was an absolute statement. It was supposed to be ironic humor. Interesting that you would always blame yourself; especially if both you and your competitor did exactly the same things. Is it possible the customer might value something else, like I don’t know, maybe price, more than anything else? Maybe you didn’t even get to talk to the actual customer! You can convince yourself that it wasn’t meant to be or that you “didn’t really want his business anyway”, but it still counts as a lost client, by definition. I prefer to recognize my competition and the fact that price may play a part in a potential customer’s calculations, and use that to my advantage when possible. When I cannot, I can learn from it, but I don’t deny it happened. In many cases I choose not to compete on price, in others I do because I recognize I simply need to get over that initial hurdle to get past their initial focus on price. You don’t have to be a commodity peddler to recognize that price is one of the factors in most customer’s evaluations (many studies show this statistically and if I remember correctly the average is 93%, look them up yourself!).

    Phillipe – perhaps you don’t understand as much as you think you do. CMMI is not a process and SCAMPI is simply an appraisal method. I also use many other internationally recognized standards and methods in my consulting work because my more learned customers recognize them and require extensive knowledge of them. However, they are simply tools and not solutions in themselves. The solutions I provide are directed at the specific business needs of the customer. Many factors (contractor mentalities, customer ignorance, even third party requirements) have caused the process improvement world to look more commoditized, but as I tell my customers, “short term thinking gets short term results”. No Phillipe, I have nothing to defend here. I have simply stated the fact that price is a component of competition, and you have already agreed with me.

    Graham – As I have said in multiple posts I have no problem with Alan’s value based principles (and I actually use a similar set myself), except for the part where he tries to pretend competition and price do not ever matter (and in certain situations they don’t). I have just found the emotional and irrational response here too good to pass up.

    Alan – Absolutes are only true within a defined domain or perspective.

    You have no idea what my experience is. Your “assumption” about my experience is completely invalid, but it is your opinion and you are welcome to it. However, that does not make your opinion truth. I am flattered that you think I am trying to be your equal. I am not. I just call ‘em like I see ‘em.

    Of course I lose business to buyers who have price constraints (read: no more money), and so do you even though you may not be aware of them. However, I have a measured closure success rate of 97% when I have personal contact with potential customers. I use many of the same concepts you promote plus a few others I’ve picked up or learned in my years of so-called non-experience. However, I also measure the “ones that got away”. I have the feeling that you do not. Most often I am able to fit more value into a customer’s budget constraint than my competition. I consider this being a good consultant since not every customer has an unlimited budget. Sometimes I choose not to compete for the very same reasons you get so emotional about this topic.

    In my experience really good teachers (and consultants) adapt to their students (and clients) and even learn from them! You are right, we are not equal; you are losing ground with every word (and I’m not even trying to be compete!). It is really amusing to me for you to talk about my ego, defensiveness, and lack of experience. Good luck with yours!

    This has been fun, but it is taking too much of my time and my message has been said (and agreed with) many times so I need to stop. Sorry if I offended anyone (especially you Alan). I find it curious how many biased assumptions come out in a discussion like this. You know what they say about “assume”! I hope you guys (and gals) don’t do that to your customers (not a good consultant behavior)!
    “Click!” [that was the sound of the “notify me” check box on this thread being unclicked].

  27. Folks, read this screed carefully, then repeat, “There but for the grace of God go I.” THIS is the competition you face out there, immature, juvenile, self-absorbed.

    I suffered through this blather to show you: That’s the competition. No worries.

  28. Using an airplane analogy if I may, some people will never make the upgrade from economy class to first class. Too much baggage to carry; a fear of the people already in first class and/or a poverty mentality; and an ego too big to fit in the aisle.

  29. It’s both, it’s fear that his ego will be bruised. He’s placed most of his identify into these tiny boxes of being “right.” He’s off somewhere now telling people, no doubt, that he “stood up” to me. Meanwhile, you’re all growing your businesses and he’s growing his hot air.

    He does seem to suck up all the oxygen….

  30. I read this entire thread at least three times. I couldn’t figure out why Gary was as insisted as he was about losing on price.

    Then it hit me, he stated that he closed 97% of the time, but analyzes the ones he loses. Well if you have a 97% close rate do you really care about the 3% you lose? Only those obsessive with perfection worry about the ones that got away.

    Alan in your last post you nailed it, when you said tiny boxes of being right worrying about the 3% that got away, is way beyond reasonable thinking.

    You’re right if that’s our competition no worries.

  31. Well said, Tim. And if you’re closing 97% I also suspect that you’re lowering your price in order to get the business!

  32. I can testify that I too had a 97% close rate and know that much was on both price and also not really giving the client what he needs rather what he said he wanted which is vastly different. I now close significantly less and know why but my income has doubled since following Alan’s advice. I am one of his mentoree’s who does not contact him often but when I do my effectiveness and subsequent income increase……

    I had a closed mind like Gary and as Alan has said stood in front of the mirror frightened to say “$50,000 but if that’s too expensive I can make it cheaper?” No more I simply carry an inhalator (as an ex smoker) and put in in my mouth as Ben Tregoe used to use his cigar. It really does stop me laughing.

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