Independent Consultants: How to Make It Easy for Clients to Buy Your Services

One of the most difficult things to do as a newbie consultant is to sell your services and build a valued base of clients. The truth is that not many, if any, clients deliberate budget for buying consultancy services.

In fact, consultancy could be said to be a distress purchase – clients only buy these services when they have a problem that they are desperate to solve. What all independent consultants need is a tried and tested process for making that first sale to a new client and then building the business from there. This article will show you a way to do this.

1. First of all you should identify what budget categories your prospective clients use. They may not have one for consultancy but they may have one for training – can your service be re-packaged as a training product to make it easier for them to buy your services?

2. Develop a low cost way for them to try you out. For example, this could be a workshop with their senior executives to identify their key issues, a benchmark survey to identify strengths and weaknesses or an audit of their current skills. This type of low cost offer is often called a self-liquidating offer because the price just about covers your marketing costs.

3. Now offer an up-sell product. They have bought your self-liquidating offer and so you now have a relationship with that customer. Build on the trust you have created with another offer that is priced higher but not so high that there might be resistance. Typically this is two or three times the price of the low cost offer. Its purpose is to get them used to buying from you and to further develop trust.

4. Once your clients are getting demonstrable value from you from having purchased your first two service products, you will have a pool of warm and receptive prospects for your big ticket consultancy projects. You can now start to work with them on identifying gaps between where they want to be as an organisation and where they are now. Your consultancy services are what fill these gaps and so buying your proposal becomes a “no brainer”.

Follow these simple guidelines and you will have an effective sales funnel that will not only allow new prospects to try out your services in a low cost and so low risk way to them but give you the means of subsequently upselling to them your more value added services.