10 Reasons Why Consultants Fail To Make the Sale - Reason #1

Why do consultants and contractors fail to make the sale? Or job? or if you want to get fancy and charge more per hour - let's use the word "engagement."

The reason or reasons are pretty simple.  I have been studying this subject for years. There are 10 primary reasons.

Here is Reason #1.  They Fail to Understand Who the Buyer Is. 
Yes, it's that simple.  Often a consultant will not understand who the real buyer is.  Let's face it - we all - and I mean all - go to the person who we feel likes us and that is usually the person who will pay us the most attention usually by giving us an appointment. We gravitate to the person who is "available."

Too many times we meet someone and they tell us that they have a need.  We listen hard and explore. We ask all the right questions. But we ask questions about the project.  We meet with them face to face or knee to knee.  We tend to gravitate to the technical side of the project - by asking technical questions.

What we forget to do is ask questions about who is buying.

What Do I Mean by WHO?
Who are they and why are they important? Er, um, let me rephrase that - or this - "Why are they important?" I should have written: Why is this is important to them?  And by "this" I mean: "the project."

Well I am starting to drift into another reason why consultants fail to make the sale - which is; Why is this important to them." So, allow me to get back on track with the "who."

Who you are talking to is not necessarily the ultimate buyer. The ultimate buyer or the "economic buyer" as per Miller Heiman's Strategic Selling book and process, is the person who has the budget and can write the check.

Okay Let's Be Real
If you are working in a big organization  - like say the likes of an IBM and you are trying to make the sale to this Goliath, you may never, ever, get to the guy (or lady) who cuts the check.  But you should be able to get to the guy (or lady) who has the budget and give the thumbs up.

Even if it just for a minute - you should be able to get to this guy (or lady).

Why do you need to get to this guy? (or lady - and just for the record, I am getting a little tired of typing both guy and lady - so I may use "guy" as gender neutral in the future).

You have got to ask them a few questions about the importance of the project - and be able to explain to them what kind of "pay-off" the project will provide.  Read "pay-off" equals "return on investment."

Well now we are into the next reason why consultants fail to make the sale - or - Reason #2. 

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