Consultant, how do you get a new prospective client to trust you, an outsider, to deliver big results for them?
Sure, your thought leadership content, social proof and case studies can help, but they will typically only help you to get meetings.
For buyers to trust you to deliver big results, you need to show them a taste of what you can do before they invest significant resources on you.
In other words, execute a small engagement upfront and deliver a quick result. Then position yourself for a larger engagement to deliver a bigger result.
It always makes sense to offer an assessment, audit or similar exercise up front as a “discovery” engagement. The client gets quick insights while you get information that will allow you to fix a bigger client problem in the next phase of the project.
Fortunately, business consultants have several options to choose from to prove their value to new clients in the form of discovery engagements.
Here are a few examples of discovery engagements (not exhaustive):
✅ Strategic business assessment
✅ Functional audit – systems, culture, brand, etc
✅ Product portfolio analysis
✅ Competitive benchmarking
✅ Non-competitive investigation (best practices in other industries that can be used in client’s org)
✅ Management facilitation – goals and objectives
Ideally, you want a discovery engagement to last no more than 4-6 weeks and priced under $30k (although in some cases you may need more time and budget).
A discovery engagement done well will give the client a good sense of your quality, work ethic, timeliness, communication skills and most importantly, results.
Once they’ve got a taste of what you can do, you can confidently propose a larger deal.
Ready to add $100k-$500k revenue to your consulting business in 12 months or less without burning out? Schedule a call and let me show you how.
Image credit: NISUS L’art