Here’s why small companies struggle to hire consulting services… (cont.)
I am much interested in how small companies acquire knowledge and technology to improve their operations and performance. A few months ago I published an entry in this blog enlisting some of the reasons why, in my experience, small companies struggle to hire consulting services. That entry, though, expressed the point of view of small entrepreneurs when it comes to NOT hiring consulting services. In today’s entry, and in an attempt to round up the idea, we explore the (Market) reasons why small, medium sized and even large consulting firms fail in their attempt to land projects in the small-firm arena.
1.Lack of experience. They do not have a consistent market development plan, that is, small firms don’t even know who they are and what they do.
2. Lack of experience. Their business proposal is somewhat rigid, “old” or not up to date, and they try to impose it in the project.
3. Lack of experience. In their expert role, chances are that they speak more than what they listen. In sales this is understood as “arriving to the solution before the prospect”, a situation that hinders engagement and trust.
4. Lack of experience. Their pricing is designed in a way that the value perception makes them look unattractive for their prospects.
5. Lack of experience. They do not have an effective sales plan, accepting the win a few, loose a few and leave an unsolved ton of proposals.
6. Lack of experience. They perform under the premise of “intellectual property”, that is, they are reluctant to share valuable information as a way to convey value and bring business.
7. Lack of experience. A variant of the intellectual property paradigm is the solo rider, protecting their information as something secret and unparalleled, resulting in reluctance to sign up in as many collaboration agreements as possible with other companies, associations or other organizations.
I hope you find value in this material to reflect on your own business proposal as consultants, or in the way you would like to receive a proposal if you are a small entrepreneur. Now let me give you the full truth: I am not referring only to consulting companies that only do consulting for a living. Chances are that if you are a technology or professional services company, you are already including a consulting component in your proposal, no matter which markets you serve.
In this consultant-sales person approach, what primes is the SOLUTION, and the way to get to it. Experts in sales agree that if in old times what primed what the relationship, the personal connection, the branding or even the pricing, more and more what companies are looking to buy is a solution with a real impact in their reality.