Don't Hard Sell Your Client For Follow-on Work

When working with a current client, don't make the mistake of "hard selling" the next project when you have not completed the current one. What you should do is stop and think strategically - to decide when and where to bring up the next possible project you have identified.

A good rule of thumb is, clients are more open to discussing future consulting work when you have clearly demonstrated that you can deliver what you have promised, and that you are professional and can be trusted. Be certain that you have met these criteria before pitching the next service.

The best way to do this, is to casually mention an area that might be a problem to the client. State that you have noticed a problem that may be caused by an area you've seen in the past. Float it by, like a trial balloon. Then allow the client to grab or let it go. You may find that your client has no knowledge of the problem or that he has a plan in place to remedy it. Either way, you have not pushed the issue, and you have identified where it stands.

No one ever wants to be sold - they want to buy. This is usually the mistake of people who don't understand the finesse of selling. It's better to indirect, than direct with clients, when selling large or strategic consulting engagements.

Good Luck!

Joe Murphy

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