There are several reasons why consultants ultimately lose deals they should have won. Unless your portfolio is poor, consultants lose contracts because they either didn’t listen or they didn’t speak effectively to convey what services they could offer, which would help the client reach their goals. Here are a few tips to help you sell your services.
Every consultant feels that if there is anything that they do well, it’s talking the talk. Effective speaking is more of an art than a science. If you can’t effectively convey how your services are going to help the client, you won’t get the contract.
Reflect Before You React
It is human nature to say the first thing that comes to our mind when we’re asked a question. Take a moment to think of what the answer is best for the client. It will show that you put thought into your work and don’t just plow ahead. Your clients will appreciate that. Your best reaction is not always your first reaction.
Keep It Simple Superstar
Just because you know the ins and outs of your business doesn’t mean that your client will. Speak to them on their level, not yours. Keep the conversation simple and get straight to the point. If your client understands what you can do for them, they are more likely to hire you. If you try and dazzle them with industry-speak, you’ll lose them, and lose the contract.
You may find that if you are speaking to a prospective client on the phone, stand up. For many people, standing makes them get straight to the point.
Let the Client Talk
If you want to learn how to best position yourself, find out exactly what the client wants and ask questions to home in on what their needs are. By asking questions, you gain a better understanding of how you can help the client, and the client feels that they are part of the solution. This gives you a chance to reflect on what you can offer your prospective client.
A Little Enthusiasm Goes A Long Way
Your client feels passionate about what they do, and if you show that you are passionate and enthusiastic about providing them the solution they want, you’ll get the client on board. Enthusiasm will open many doors for you.
Let’s Get Personal
It takes experience and a watchful eye, however, if you show your client that they are more than just another big deal for their portfolio you will learn how to best work with them. Treat all clients the same way, and you will find your schedule empty of projects. Remember that clients say things for a reason. If they volunteer that they can’t talk right now because they are getting ready for Bobby’s birthday party on Saturday, on your follow-up call, ask them casually how the party went. Don’t pry, and don’t send balloons. By casually asking about the party, you show that you pay attention to details. Knowing how successful the party was will prepare you for how to approach the conversation.
Remember that you need to sell to the customer’s needs, not your skills. Master this, and you will have a long career as a consultant.