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How Clients Buy

Book Description

The real-world guide to selling your services and bringing in business

How Clients Buy is the much-needed guide to selling your services. If you're one of the millions of people whose skills are the 'product,' you know that you cannot be successful unless you bring in clients. The problem is, you're trained to do your job—not sell it. No matter how great you may be at your actual role, you likely feel a bit lost, hesitant, or 'behind' when it comes to courting clients, an unfamiliar territory where you're never quite sure of the line between under- and over-selling. This book comes to the rescue with real, practical advice for selling what you do. You'll have to unlearn everything you know about sales, but then you'll learn new skills that will help you make connections, develop rapport, create interest, earn trust, and turn prospects into clients.

Business development is critical to your personal success, and your skills in this area will dictate the course of your career. This invaluable guide gives you a set of real-world best practices that can help you become the rainmaker you want to be.

  • Get the word out and make productive connections
  • Drop the fear of self-promotion and advertise your accomplishments
  • Earn potential clients' trust to build a lasting relationship
  • Scrap the sales pitch in favor of honesty, positivity, and value

Working in the consulting and professional services fields comes with difficulties not encountered by those who sell tangible products. Services are often under-valued, and become among the first things to go when budgets get tight. It is now harder than ever to sell professional services, so your game must be on-point if you hope to out-compete the field. How Clients Buy shows you how to level up and start winning the client list of your dreams.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. The Problem
    1. Chapter 1: A Curious Problem
      1. Rainmaking
      2. The Promise of How Clients Buy
      3. The Breakthrough
      4. Our Method
      5. Onward
    2. Chapter 2: Finders, Minders, and Grinders
      1. Consulting
      2. I'm Not Even in That Universe
      3. The Ladder
      4. Up or Out
      5. The Three-Legged Stool
      6. The Commercial Imperative
      7. The Rest of Us
      8. Okay, I Need to Sell; How Do I Do That?
  6. Obstacles
    1. Chapter 3: Beyond Pixels
      1. Selling Consulting and Professional Services Is Hard Because Our Clients Have to Trust Us Before They Buy from Us
      2. The Three R's
      3. How Services Are Different
      4. Systemic Hurdles
    2. Chapter 4: Obstacle #1: What They Didn't Teach You in B-School
      1. Universities
      2. Why Business Schools Do Not Teach How to Sell Professional Services
    3. Chapter 5: Obstacle #2: But I Don't Want to Sell
      1. Why We Can Never Imagine Being Salespeople
      2. The Birth of Management Consulting
      3. We Are the Product
    4. Chapter 6: Obstacle #3: Things Aren't What They Once Were
      1. A Changing Landscape
      2. The End of the Ban on Advertising
      3. The World is Flat
      4. Firefly Ideas
      5. More Players
    5. Chapter 7: Obstacle #4: A Blizzard of Bad Advice
      1. Traditional Sales Training
      2. The Science of Yield
      3. The Myth of the Perfect Pitch
      4. Better Personality
      5. Why This Model Doesn't Work for Consulting and Professional Services
  7. How Clients Buy
    1. Chapter 8: The Secret to Selling
      1. Never Say Sell
      2. Design Thinking Meets Business Development
    2. Chapter 9: Element 1: I Am Aware of You
      1. To a Land Where You Are Not Known
      2. Introducing Yourself
      3. The Awareness Trap
      4. 200 People You Need to Know
      5. Tactics—What Works
    3. Chapter 10: Element 2: I Understand What You Do
      1. Lessons from 55 BC
      2. How Clients Remember You
      3. Clients Have to Understand Who You Are
      4. Shrink the Pond
      5. The Bottom Line
      6. Hone Your Elevator Pitch
      7. Tactics—What Works
    4. Chapter 11: Element 3: I Am Interested
      1. Driving in the Right Direction
      2. Making a Meaningful Difference
      3. Tactics—What Works
    5. Chapter 12: Element 4: I Respect Your Work
      1. Track Record
      2. Are You Legit?
      3. Establishing Credibility
      4. Can a Client Rely on You to Get the Job Done?
      5. Tactics—What Works
    6. Chapter 13: Element 5: I Trust You
      1. Trust
      2. Trust Is the Whole Ball of Wax
      3. Tactics—What Works
    7. Chapter 14: Element 6: I Am Able
      1. Ability
      2. A Miscalculation
      3. The Magic Formula
      4. Return on Investment
      5. The Right Level
      6. Tactics—What Works
    8. Chapter 15: Element 7: I Am Ready
      1. Frustration
      2. Bumps in the Road
      3. Tactics—What Works
  8. Putting the Seven Elements to Work
    1. Chapter 16: A Chain Is as Strong as Its Weakest Link
      1. The Right Measure: Three Types of Service Firms
      2. Using the Seven Elements as a Diagnostic Tool
      3. Focus on Where You Need to Improve
    2. Chapter 17: Getting to Work
      1. Do Great Work
      2. Become Your Own Chief Revenue Officer
      3. Build Your Network
      4. Develop Your Own Style
      5. Dedicate Time for Business Development
      6. Stay Persistent and Positive in the Face of So Many “No's”
      7. Whatever You Do, Don't Call It “Selling”
    3. Chapter 18: All Business Is Local
      1. Making Sense of the Global-Local Paradox
      2. The Future of Decision Making
    4. Chapter 19: Our Vision of the Future
      1. A Life Worth Living
      2. Important Work
      3. Three Imperatives for a Better Future
      4. Imperative 1: You
      5. Imperative 2: The Organization
      6. Imperative 3: The University
      7. How Clients Buy
  9. Notes and References
  10. Acknowledgments
  11. About the Authors
  12. Index
  13. End User License Agreement