If you want to live large, you have to think big.
As consultants, we can’t simply respond to a prospect’s arbitrary request for an alternative. We have to seek the true objective and provide better alternatives.
If there is as much sweat equity in a $100,000 sale as there is in a $10,000 sale, then why bother pursuing the latter, when the same work can result in the former?
Why would you ever suggest a pilot, a needs analysis, or a “free sample,” when they are totally unnecessary to get the sale, and they more often lead to no business than good business? Why would you “audition” for the HR department, when no one respects them and you’ll then be seen as their peer, not the executive’s peer?
Too many consultants fold and cave when a client says, “This is our payment policy,” instead of replying, “That’s interesting, but here is MY payment policy”? (I heard just today of a client who pays “70 days, net of completion.” Sorry, but you’re not paying me that way.)
When a client says, “I don’t know the answer to that,” our response should usually be, “Well, you should, so that’s part of the problem, isn’t it?” instead of hurrying to rush on and not embarrass anyone.
You have to be able to say to a pleased client, “Glad you’re happy, let’s talk about some referrals, because those are the coinage of my realm.” (Okay, you may not be as poetic as I, but you get the picture.)
When a prospect says he has no money, come back next year, consultants pack the portmanteau and catch a train north. The proper response is, “This isn’t about money, this is about return. You have no time or interest in return this year?? How do you run your business if not in terms of ROI?”
If someone isn’t a buyer—they can’t authorize a check by themselves to pay for your value—you should only be talking to them long enough to find out who the real buyer is and where she lives. Harsh? No. Appropriate.
Consultants need to think big, otherwise, they aren’t capable of providing major improvements to clients and a better life for themselves. They won’t be able to live large.
That’s irrefragable, man.
© Alan Weiss, 2007. All rights reserved.