You know what one of the biggest challenges is when it comes to client acquisition for “expert” service professionals? Organizing your services in a way that allows prospects to easily understand and buy your stuff!
In other words, as a coach, consultant, speaker, accountant, chiropractor or other “expert” service professional, we usually know so much stuff that it can sometimes be problematic for prospects trying to figure out how to best work with us.
They’re overwhelmed by the sheer volume of knowledge and aren’t sure where to start. However, when you organize your service offerings in a way that’s more intuitive for the prospective buyer, you actually make it easier for people to buy because they quickly understand what you do, and how they can plug into that service.
I call that making yourself “more consumable” and it’s the one thing most “expert” service professionals can do right now to get more clients.
As an example, let’s say you’re a consultant who talks to businesses about leadership. And right now you’re talking to a prospect who has a problem and wants to hear about your service. Awesome! During the meeting you’re asking good questions, getting a feel of the situation, and determining how you might be able to help. So far so good.
Then it happens.
The decision-maker asks, “So all of this sounds great. How can you help exactly?”
And now you have a choice.
Door number one has you talking about all the great things you’ve done in the world of leadership: the degrees you’ve earned, the credentials you’ve garnered and all the accolades you’ve accumulated. Throughout your response, you talk in terms of theory and generalities on how with your training, ABC Company will be “better equipped to handle the challenges of an increasingly global economy.”
Maybe you bring up a couple more points, but at the end, the decision-maker seems a lot less interested in hiring you, and a lot more confused on how you can help.
“Why don’t you send a proposal and we’ll take a look at it,” is what she says as people start leaving the room. Two months later, you’re still “following up” and have yet to pick up the client.
Conversely, door number two has you answering that question much differently.
Well, we actually have a couple of options, it just depends on how you play it. From our discussion thus far, the challenge is definitely leadership, and more specifically, how to better incorporate your corporate values and ideas into your front line employees.
The first option has me coming in and conducting a 90-minute presentation to your front line managers. I’d cover points like your corporate values, some of the challenges the organization has faced in the past for getting those values to the employees, and I’ll solicit ideas from the front line managers on how they think we can best communicate with their folks.
I’d then follow up that presentation with weekly conference calls over the next two months, talking to the participants, tracking their progress and providing any thoughts or course corrections along the way.
Throughout, I’d provide you — the leadership team — with a written report twice a month updating our progress.
Our second option is actually very similar, except instead of just doing one presentation, I’d do three over the next 12 months. The initial 90-minute training would be exactly the same, except I would also schedule an in-person follow-up presentation four weeks later.
I’d still be an accountability partner to the front line managers like before, but I’d also talk to some of the employees — the people who are being managed — and see what they think the problem might be, and then, of course, report those findings to you while maintaining their confidentiality.
Based on my experience, either of those options should put us in good shape for addressing the issue.
Notice the difference?
The first one has you talking about “leadership” in an abstract form, while the second provides a couple of specific solutions for solving their problem.
Which person would you buy from? Probably the one who has their services easily organized and more “consumable” for you as a prospect, right? Absolutely.
Recommendation: Write out all of the different things you can do, and categorize them into two packages: “basic” and “premium.” From there, attach a price to each one and then take that paper to your very next prospect meeting, and reference it when they ask, “How can you help?” Depending on the complexity of your business and the prospect’s needs, you might have to take a couple of items out of the original “basic” package and put them into the “premium” or vice versa, but just make sure your services are well-organized and easy to understand.
Then, after you’ve provided some options, stop talking. During this time prospects will usually ask some additional questions, and when that happens, answer directly and continue to add value.
And when it’s all said done, see if you don’t notice an uptick in sales simply by doing one thing: make yourself more consumable by organizing your services!
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