The bigger your client, the more costly their problems are likely to be and the more they’ll be willing to pay to have those problems fixed. If you’re able to solve their problems, you’ll be able to build a lucrative consulting business that produces free cash flow throughout the year.
I’ve been often asked by consultants about how to sell services to mid-to-large companies (say 1,000+ employees).
So I’ve laid out the process below. Here are the broad steps:
Find Out the Decision-making Criteria
According to Gartner, there are at least 6.8 decision-makers per B2B sale (2017). During discovery, find out how buying decisions are made.
Typically, the department head or business unit owner (could be Director, VP, etc.) has the authority to hire new vendors as long as their services fall within a specified budget threshold.
The departmental/business unit budget threshold differs from company to company. In some companies it’s $25,000, in some others it’s $50,000 and some instances even $500,000.
Create a Discovery or “Foot-in-the-Door” Offering
As a consultant, you want to start new engagements with a short/quick discovery offering such as one of these:
Deliver your discovery offering within 30 days (Facilitations/workshops can even be done within a day).
Price your offering within the department or business unit’s budget threshold.
Pricing too high will move your proposal up the hierarchy or even to… PROCUREMENT.
What Happens in The Procurement Department?
Typically, you’ll be required to submit a response to a Request for Proposal (RFP).
Responses to RFPs will be sought from various vendors and all proposals (including yours) will be evaluated by a committee comprising individuals from any of these areas: corporate services, financial, legal, business, special stakeholders (from compliance, risk, tax, etc.).
Your proposal will be evaluated line by line and scored on every parameter mentioned in the RFP.
After multiple consensus meetings with all the evaluators, the winner will be chosen.
BOTTOM LINE: THIS TAKES TIME!
Long Story Short…
If you can, avoid having your proposal sent to the procurement department from the get go.
For new prospective clients, close the deal in the department/business unit itself by pricing your discovery offering within the budget threshold.
If the project is large, split your offering and only propose the discovery portion. Get your ‘foot in the door.’
Once You’re ‘In’…
Once you’re ‘in’, you have the opportunity to demonstrate your quality, delivery, work ethic and results.
As an incumbent vendor, you now have an advantage over others.
You can now propose higher-value projects and have better control over the sales process.
Ready to Land $100k+ clients consistently without burning out? Schedule a call and let me show you how.
Image credit: Atlanta Black Star