Manufacturing Sales as a Relationship-Oriented Consultant

Earlier this week I was having lunch with an entrepreneur that has a successful consulting business. He’s been in business for four years and has 10 full-time consultants. The big challenge for him now is that he’s both selling new deals and coordinating the delivery of work on existing deals — working 80 hours a week in the business. If he doesn’t sell new deals the business goes under, and if he doesn’t sell even more deals than last year, the business doesn’t grow.

The goal right now is figuring out how to train the consultants to sell and make it so that he’s not the only person bringing in new business. We talked for over an hour and this is what I suggested to him:

  • Figure out how to get economies of scale with his sales abilities
  • Consider having an inside sales person call on target accounts to set up appointments for him as well as offer events like “my CEO is going to be in town on xyz date and would enjoy grabbing breakfast or lunch with you”
  • Build regular value-added content to stay top-of-mind with prospects and outsource this work to a markting person
  • Look for other ways like lumpy mail and industry speaking events to stay in front of prospects

My biggest recommendation for him was to lean on junior sales and marketing people to help him maximize his reach.

What else? What are some other ways to help sell more as a relationship-oriented consultant?

One thought on “Manufacturing Sales as a Relationship-Oriented Consultant

  1. One of the pieces of advice I have heard about scaling consulting is to switch from per-hour or per-project billing to retainer fees. That way the more accounts the business has the larger the revenue. The hard part is to figure out how many new accounts can be signed until the company needs to hire additional help.

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