At Highgroove, we’ve been consulting on software projects since 2006. I can tell you that it’s been a long, hard learning process on how to sell service based consulting. We’ve certainly come a long way in helping our clients be happy about the services we provide.
One way to get better at selling consulting services is to purchase some yourself. Alternatively, the mental exercise is called: “putting yourself in your clients shoes.” But there’s something to be said for actually being on the other side, and actually purchasing consulting services.
If our clients are like us (they are, since we pre-qualify them), then they really just want to know 3 things:
how much will it cost (budget)
when will it be done (time)
what will it include (scope)
If you’re sending a proposal, be sure to include all 3 in any proposal. I know it seems obvious, but if you don’t have those 3 things, or at least a mechanism for controlling the first 2 (time and budget), you’ll have a hard time closing.
Here are some other key tips we’ve learned about selling consulting:
have a Sales Process. Write it out. What happens when a new lead comes in? What do you do? Does your potential client know what happens next?
have a “ballpark proposal” - one page or less that you send right away. There’s nothing worse than creating a 15-page proposal for a 25k project when the client was expecting $1k worth of work. And this is the only Yes/No question you ask: “Are we in the ballpark?”
be very clear about prices. It may be clear to you that “$5k - $6k” means a range of $5,000.00 to $6,000.00, but don’t assume.
What tips do you have for selling consulting services?
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