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  • #978465
    msteen
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    I don’t want to believe this. As an independent consultant myself, I would say that this is just garbage, but I would assume it is different for consultants from various fields. I worked in the financial industry in a Big 4 firm, and it was definitely easier to make connections and networks that way. I would say if you were in industry, and you move into the consulting sphere it might be hard. I read an article on this too, and I don’t know about it – highly questionable, but a good read.

    http://www.consultingcafe.com/articles/how-to-get-clients-as-a-consultant

    Tell me what you think. I really want to know about what other consultants think about this, I don’t want to believe in it personally but it might be true?

    #1107355
    James Millar
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    I actually think there is some merit in the article.

    I know for example that we have spent considerable time in the last six months changing the way that we present and deliver our solutions (previously services). Our focus now is to slow down with the proposal process and invest more time upfront identifying where the value lies to the client. For some of our solutions we actively try to avoiding any discussion of fees until all of the objectives have been agreed upon by all parties (drawing upon material from Allan Weiss). Adding excess capacity with human resources has greatly helped us free up time for this.

    Our sales process ties in heavily with this. Slowing down. Better assessment and more listening on the front end. So far the results for us have been spectacular.

    It may be the case that you are further along the sales expertise curve but from what we see that rest of the industry (second tier and below) is lagging a long way behind. It may also be the case that the larger engagements in the big four are more sophisticated in every way (from start to finish). The tendency to rush into a proposal to the likes of BHP is far less than the tendency to rush into a proposal to a SME / micro. The stakes are obviously much higher.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. [email protected] www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    #1107356
    Geronimo
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    Oh rats. As he started listing the problems, I could identify with almost all of them. I came to the realisation a couple of month ago that because I’m in high demand, my less than brilliant sales technique hasn’t hindered me. It’s a poor excuse though. I’m actively working on this area, as I’m in the process of shifting the focus of my business to longer term (24 months+) contracts.

    I do wish he’d expanded more though, as I’d have loved to read more detail.

    #1107357
    Uncomplicating
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    msteen, post: 119023 wrote:
    I don’t want to believe this. As an independent consultant myself, I would say that this is just garbage, but I would assume it is different for consultants from various fields. I worked in the financial industry in a Big 4 firm, and it was definitely easier to make connections and networks that way. I would say if you were in industry, and you move into the consulting sphere it might be hard. I read an article on this too, and I don’t know about it – highly questionable, but a good read.

    http://www.consultingcafe.com/articles/how-to-get-clients-as-a-consultant

    Tell me what you think. I really want to know about what other consultants think about this, I don’t want to believe in it personally but it might be true?

    Seems like a decent enough article.

    First rule of sales I was ever taught was “Know your prospect”.

    The second rule was. “You have 2 ears and one mouth. Use them in equal measure”.

    The third was “Ask 2 questions for every answer”

    Consultants at any level are solution sellers. The solution happens to be ourselves of course. Our job is simply to explain how we can solve the problems prospects already know they have. To do that, we have to find out what their problems are.

    #1107358
    msteen
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    I guess in the logical sense that all consultants when transitioning to an independent lifestyle (i.e., away from the Big 3/ Big 4 companies) will have a hard time to adapt as they do not have the same materials that their consultants would have. Regarding the independent consultant that came straight from industry, the lack of experience would probably drive them to explore the idea of selling oneself throughout the meeting rather than letting the client actually talk.

    All in all, I agree with you guys.

    #1107359
    Uncomplicating
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    msteen, post: 119210 wrote:
    Regarding the independent consultant that came straight from industry, the lack of experience would probably drive them to explore the idea of selling oneself throughout the meeting rather than letting the client actually talk.

    The distinction between the likes of KPMG, PWC, IBM et al. vs industry could be perceived as somewhat arrogant. I’m not suggesting that you are, merely that it might be perceived that way.

    I’ve dealt with both professionally, and as my wife happens to be rather senior at one of the Big 4, I have rather a lot of inside knowledge. I can assure you that a background from the sharp end of industry is just as valuable, and in many ways more valuable than the cossetted existence in the professions, where the large corporate machine can allow the not so talented to hide.

    #1107360
    msteen
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    I would agree with you. Most business people, including myself, are quite conceited and arrogant (it’s just our nature, I would say). I do think that by virtue the tools and the expertise that other independent consultants have are by far more valuable – I would just say it’s the lack of experience at first that is the cause. All business people have their faults, and I am sure consultants slip up at times.

    #1107361
    Warren Cottis
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    James Millar alluded to it and I recommend you read Million Dollar Consulting by Alan Weiss.

    There you will find that the situation of a prospective client calling you with a known daily rate is the last situation you want to be in.

    I think the article is flawed because of that proposition.

    JamesMillar, post: 119071 wrote:
    I actually think there is some merit in the article.

    I know for example that we have spent considerable time in the last six months changing the way that we present and deliver our solutions (previously services). Our focus now is to slow down with the proposal process and invest more time upfront identifying where the value lies to the client. For some of our solutions we actively try to avoiding any discussion of fees until all of the objectives have been agreed upon by all parties (drawing upon material from Allan Weiss). Adding excess capacity with human resources has greatly helped us free up time for this.

    Our sales process ties in heavily with this. Slowing down. Better assessment and more listening on the front end. So far the results for us have been spectacular.

    It may be the case that you are further along the sales expertise curve but from what we see that rest of the industry (second tier and below) is lagging a long way behind. It may also be the case that the larger engagements in the big four are more sophisticated in every way (from start to finish). The tendency to rush into a proposal to the likes of BHP is far less than the tendency to rush into a proposal to a SME / micro. The stakes are obviously much higher.

    #1107362
    Shaukat Adam Khalid
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    Every small business owner should become familiar with alan weiss’s material. he does not just teach consulting. he teaches business acumen which most self employed people lack.

    His million dollar consulting college homestudy will produce higher returns with less effort than any franchise or license out there.

    I would recommend any potential MBA to do this course first, put it into action and send the bill to the clients.

    the biggest take away from this article is the following:

    A really successful sales meeting, which is how any independent consultant should look at interviews, has the prospect talking for roughly 80% of the time, while you speak for no more than 20%. How do you do that? To avoid a lot of awkward silences, you must ask the right questions.

    Warren Cottis, post: 119218 wrote:
    James Millar alluded to it and I recommend you read Million Dollar Consulting by Alan Weiss.

    There you will find that the situation of a prospective client calling you with a known daily rate is the last situation you want to be in.

    I think the article is flawed because of that proposition.

    #1107363
    msteen
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    Sadly, I’ve never read nor have I ever heard of that book, but I will check it out. Thanks for letting me know.

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