Chapter 6. Initiating the Sales Process and Acquiring Business: Building Relationships

Selling consulting services is about creating relationships. No one sells to GE or IBM or Ford, but rather we sell to people within those organizations. Those potential buyers have titles such as director of development, chief operating officer, division general manager, vice president of sales, chief financial officer, and so on. Within education, the buyers are people in positions such as school superintendent, principal, director of curriculum development, and supervisor of counseling. Even in small businesses, the buyers are readily identifiable: owner, principal, managing partner, executive director. In nonprofits, the buyer is usually the executive director or chair of the board.

Consultants must build relationships, not make sales calls. Think about it: Do you really enjoy listening to those people reading scripts over the phone in an attempt to persuade you to change your long distance provider or cable source? Well, no one buys consulting services through those techniques, either. (A woman recently berated me because she did make a cold call telephone appointment and sale. You can also find $1,000 on the sidewalk, I imagine, or hit the number 24 in roulette with a $10,000 bet. But do you really want to base your living and future on those odds?) ...

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