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It’s Not Value. The Real Reason Consulting Prospects Act
From:
David A. Fields -- Sales Growth Expert David A. Fields -- Sales Growth Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Ridgefield , CT
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

 

Value. It’s the beating heart of the work your consulting firm produces for your clients, and it’s the reason you win consulting projects.

Therefore, offering more value, along with chocolate-glazed pastries will enable you to secure bigger projects faster, right?

Wrong.

Well, the pastries may help, but not for the reason you think.

Discussing projects with potential clients is easy. But winning them? That requires your prospect to overcome inertia. To commit. To act.

Let’s look at the impetus to act. Before your prospect’s pen scratches his signature on the bottom of your proposal, he reassures himself:

“This consulting project will really help me now.”

Two factors buoy that critical message.

Perception of Value

“This consulting project will really help me now.”

Value definitely influences your prospect’s reaction to your consulting proposal.

If your prospect harbors doubts about whether he’ll actually experience some (or all) of the benefits your consulting project promises, you’ll encounter a wide range of objections. Especially pushback on fees. 

Perception of Urgency

“This consulting project will really help me now.”

A pressing desire also kicks your prospect into gear.

If your prospect doesn’t feel compelled to jump into motion with you, you’ll confront complacency. Your prospect won’t return your calls or will claim that other priorities or people are blocking him from signing your proposal.

Obviously, increasing urgency and value will both assist you in closing the deal. Which is more important?

As a general rule, value is discounted, particularly as the value rises. Clients tend not to trust in future benefits or in large benefits. The combination of large benefits sometime in the future is particularly problematic.

Hence, as you increase value, the impact on your ability to close may be less than you hope.

Conversely, your client’s perception of urgency increases faster than actual urgency. No one wants to wait until their need is desperate and immediate, and the closer you are to that line, the more a client’s itch to act escalates.

The lessons are clear:

  1. Focus on urgent needs at least as much (and probably more) than “high value” needs. Ten $100k projects signed today is worth far more than two, $500k projects that may (or may not) sign in the future.
  2. Learn your target market’s urgency buttons. What triggers the “gotta act now” impulse? A steady-state lulls prospects into indecision; in contrast, a change in market condition can spur action.
    For instance, newly released indicators of a pending recession, a merger, or a government investigation might turn the head up on urgency. Or, examples of recent, in-market failures could jolt your consulting client into action.
  3. Highlight urgency in your discussions with your prospects. Underscore the consequences of waiting and the extra benefits of moving quickly.
    You don’t want to resort to scare tactics, of course; however, inertia is a powerful force, and pointing out the deleterious impact of delay may be the ringing alarm your client needs.

How else have you been able to increase your prospects’ sense of urgency?


 
Managing Director
Ascendant Consulting, LLC
Ridgefield, CT
203-438-7236