Million Dollar Consulting® Mindset
From Alan Weiss
Volume 1 Number 11
A monthly newsletter with the objective of quickly and pragmatically helping consultants to improve their craft, results, and lives.
When to Challenge the Buyer
You can be lulled by a pleasant, cooperative, enthusiastic buyer who consistently seems to find “legitimate” reasons to delay committing to the project and signing the proposal. How do you light a fire under your slow-moving prospect?
Prove that starting now is in the buyer’s best interest and waiting threatens windows of opportunity. You will never accelerate a buying process by articulating your own best interest! You’ll have to find the buyer’s best interest and press your argument home. Some of these buyers are prudent, some are risk-averse, some try to build unneeded consensus, some are simply indecisive.
Whatever the cause, your best bet to move them is to demonstrate that they’ll gain something by acting and lose something through inaction. Find personal objectives, when you can, which will be more persuasive than merely corporate objectives.
But don’t merely provide “What if?” type questions, which are hypothetical and can be rather easily rebutted. Instead, be assertive and prescriptive:
Your problem is worse than last year, and will get even worse this year.
There are no “perfect times” to start except for the present!
This is a strategic decision, so consensus doesn’t really matter.
Those you’re concerned about involving will resist this type of change.
You competitors are ahead of you in this area.
You can see the point. Make it clear from you experience that it’s time to act, and challenge the buyer to explain why delay won’t hurt even more.
I was visiting the pool equipment manufacturer, Pentair, at the headquarters in North Carolina. The president and his top people were around a conference table, and were clearly impressed and prone to proceed with my project. The proposal was on the table.
“But our busy season starts in a couple of weeks,” said the president, “and the last thing we need is disruption and complexity during the next few months.”
“If Alan can be here during our busiest time,” said a vice president, “he’ll know the most challenging circumstances, which can be deceptive during our off-season.”
“Good point,” replied the president, “Alan, are you good to start immediately?”
I hadn’t said a word until then: “Of course!”
Frequently Asked Question
Q. What happens when there is a legitimate reason for delay, such as a large technology introduction or a divestiture? Do I simply come back in a few months?
A. Suggest to the client that you can begin with the non-intrusive work, e.g., observations, competitive intelligence, interviews, meeting attendance. Many clients think that projects must begin with an upheaval. Start slow and steady so that you can “hit the ground running” later when the dust settles.
A “mini-Consulting College, with a quarter century of consulting success presented in terms of thought leadership, Million Dollar Referrals, exploiting the two sales you make with a proposal, remote coaching and consulting, setting the highest fees of your life and getting them before the project begins, and much more. First 25 people get a free, third morning with a personal debrief by Alan. Dinner for 12 available with Alan on November 15 (two seats remain!). The one-time opportunity of a lifetime.
October 22-24, 2012
The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL
The third annual conference, limited to 20 people, which has featured Marshall Goldsmith and David Maister the past two years. Learn how to rise to thought leadership in your field with practical techniques and ongoing support. The graduate session is already sold out a year in advance! Fifteen spots remain. There is no other opportunity like this in the world. The finest venue, great interaction, top people. All lodging and meals are included, discounts only until December 15, 2011.
Read about the 2011 session here.
Sign up for 2012 here.
November 30, 2011
Hyatt Regency, Goat Island, Newport, RI
Base on my new book Million Dollar Referrals and a wildly successful teleconference, this day will enable you to create ongoing solicited and unsolicited referral business; learn and apply the best language to maximize referrals: provide profiles of your ideal referrals. We’ll video the predominantly live, practice work, and you’re free to record all of your personal sessions. This is the only one scheduled. Huge discount if you attended either of my teleconferences on referrals.
© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.
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