Why Do Consultants Fail to Make the Sale? Reason #2

Why do consultants and contractors fail to make the sale? Reason #2 . . .

So, in the last article, or a.k.a. Reason #1, I wrote, we often go to the person who pays us the most attention - rather than to the person who is the ulimate buyer. We mistakenly assume that this person who is paying us attention by giving us their time, is the buyer.

So hopefully you got it - get to the buyer.

Why Get To The Buyer?
Why is it you have got to get to the buyer?  And this is Reason #2: You have got to determine if this person actually wants to get this project started and completed AND do they actually have the funds for it.

This is really about understanding the size and scope of the problem they are trying to address.  And yes I said the word, "problem."  I know you have probably read some bull in a book somewhere in your life about selling and there was some crap that went like this:

"Never say the word 'problem' to a client. Keep it positive. If you have to say anything negative say the word 'challenge.' This will keep your client happy." 

By the way, you have to read the above quotation in some sort of goofball voice to have the effect I want to have in undermining your old, conventional thoughts about selling - which is not selling by the way - it is working with clients by educating them about you.

Problems, Problems, Problems - I Want Problems
Only real problems need to be fixed.
Here is a simple and cautionary piece of advice: If it's not a problem - then there is NO SALE!!!

Only problems get money these days. And the bigger the problem - the more important it is going to be to find a solution.  Note: I did not say: "The bigger the problem, the bigger the sale."  Understanding the impact of the problem - how big a headache the problem is - is really about understanding the client's priorities. 

Competing Priorities
And all clients have priorities.  And unfortunately, a client has multiple priorities that are "competing priorities" which basically means that these "competing priorities" are fighting for his or her (here we go again with this awkward gender thing - is there a word that can say both at the same time?) time and attention.

You have got to make sure that this "problem" is important to him/her. And that what you have to offer can take it off the buyer "worry list."

And now we are drifting into Reason #3 - of; Why do consultants and contractors fail to make the sale? Making sure the client understands YOU can take it off their worry list. Meaning: You can demonstrate your knowledge, acumen, skills, etc that you have; "been there done that." 

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