Welcome to Video Number 3, where we cover how to design a great consulting offer. To review, in Video Number 1, we covered the opportunity. We saw that there are a lot of small business owners, thousands, if not millions, that buy legitimate services. We talked about where to go to put yourself in front of those opportunities.
In Video Number 2, we covered the expert's error, a fundamental assumption that we make as consultants. We think that explaining equals selling. But our small business client is busy with a very tight schedule, and wants to solve specific business problems, not hear explanations. We have to flip our attitude, if we're going to sell more effectively to our CEO level clients.
Today we’re talking about how to package a great consulting offer. Because, the truth is, selling isn't just a matter of what you say. The offer itself needs to be easy to understand and easy to buy. Remember three things:
- The client cannot buy what he does not understand. Complicated offers require complicated explanations, hustling, in order to sell them. Your job is to come up with an offering that requires the least amount of explanation.
- The longer the conversation, the lower, the chance of converting a sale. When you go into hustler mode and you start educating, informing, teaching, and explaining it extends the conversation, it introduces more confusion. Be a doctor, listen to their situation, understand the problem facing them, confirm what you've heard and offer a solution.
You will be judged by the outcome you create, not by the knowledge you share. Your offering must deliver a desirable outcome. You can know, teach, explain all you want, but remember, your final metric is, did you solve the problem or not?
Defining an “offer”
For most of us, an “offer” simply means the services that you deliver or the things that you provide. But it's really more dynamic than that. So let's give the term “offer” a concrete definition right now. An offer is a solution delivered at maximum speed with minimum risk.
Here is a simplified example. Let's say that you're in Los Angeles, and want to travel to New York. What are your options to get there? You can choose to walk, drive or fly.
Is it a solution? Yes, you can walk from New York to L.A.
At maximum speed? Not even close! It's going to take you weeks, if not, months to make that walk.
At minimal risk? No. There are a lot of things that can happen to you on the road if you were walking by yourself from LA to New York. So this is not the best offer.
Is it a solution? Yes, you can drive from New York to L.A.
At maximum speed? No. While it's definitely faster than walking, it's still going to take you a couple of days, maybe even a week or so.
At minimal risk? Yes, if you are driving safely and stopping in safe places.
Is it a solution? Yes, you can fly from New York to L.A.
At maximum speed? Yes, you can reach your destination in a matter of hours.
At minimal risk? Yes, there are multiple regulations, people, and processes to make sure that the flight option is safe.
That leaves us with flying being the premium option. We can get where we want to go with the highest amount of speed and the least amount of risk.
What does a BAD offer look like?
Making a good offer seems like it would be easy, but we are always breaking this, and making bad offers unintentionally.
Here are two examples of bad offers:
Everything you offer in one bloated package. You take all of your knowledge, expertise, wisdom, experience, and you'll put it inside of one big bloated service. “This is everything I know how to do! Surely something in this package can solve your problem!” The trouble is, you have to explain all of this before this person can even halfway understand it, let alone buy anything.
A gigantic menu of service options. This, again, is well-intentioned but common mistake. You'll create this menu of services and expect a client to select one or two. Your thinking is to give this big menu of choices to your prospective client, but look what you've done. You have to explain all of this before they can choose which one makes sense to them. The menu creates complication.
So what can you do today that will declutter and uncomplicate your current suite of offers?
The one, done for you, project-based offering
I have literally sold thousands of dollars worth of this offering without any of the complexities that we think we need. No crazy automations, no wild funnels, no fancy names. This works because it is 100% solution-focused.
How does it lay out?
When you're talking to a prospective client, they're trying to get something done. You'll go through the big steps needed to get from wherever they are now, to where they'd like to be.
As you figure this out, there will always be some uncertainties, some areas of the project that make your client nervous. So somewhere around steps, eight, nine, or ten, as you're talking this through, your client begins to get nervous. Why? Because they're worried about that context— those people, those processes, things that must be hooked up to it.
Maybe then you get nervous because you're not quite sure what's going to happen either. So both parties end up being nervous, neither party is confident in the project, the bottom of the project falls through, and no sale is made.
Lean in to uncertainty
Instead of leaning out when nervousness arrives, lean in. Acknowledge that it’s happening and that it’s part of the process. Make the offer to your client to resolve these specific things. Tell your client, "Listen, I know where you are now, and where you're trying to go. We charted out a path that we believe will get you there. But we both understand that there's some uncertainty in later steps. Let’s spend a couple days figuring out what these things are before we commit the months of doing all this work.”
Take a few days to review the people, the process, the documentation that may otherwise cause this project to be unsuccessful. After you've done that initial project, then you and the client can consider: Should we do the big project now? Do we need to consider any other steps to take?
Is this an offer that will sell?
Let’s measure it against our criteria.
- Is it a solution? Yes. You and your client both understand what you're working on, and the value that it has. Understanding this first gets us safety across the entire chain. It's exciting for both parties.
- At maximum speed? Your client doesn't have to wait months now to figure out what may happen down here at steps eight, nine, and ten. You're making the offer to apply your expertise immediately to those trouble spots. Let's make sure we have what we need, that the right people are in place, that this project’s weakest points are at least in a steady state before we commit to the entire thing. Your client gets this insight in days, not in months.
- At minimum risk? You're showing the client the roadmap upfront. They know what they're committing to. There's less guesswork. You're also showing the client where the bottom normally falls out, and offering to protect them from that upfront. There's no, "Whoops. We didn't know about this," or, "Whoops. It's going to take double the time now," or, "Whoops, we didn't see this coming."
The Power of the One, Done For You, Project-Based Offering
A service like this is so simple, it's almost too simple. The value of it can go over our heads. So let's talk about the benefits.
- It’s easy to design. This service is structured enough where you can systemize and process it. It's also flexible enough where you can tailor it towards the client you're talking to. So it gives you some agility in both ways there.
- It’s easy for the client to understand. They know what you're working on. You are the expert working on those tough parts of the project so that they know what they're buying. They can buy in much quicker. This kind of offering creates insight for other informed offerings.
- It’s insights will create other informed offerings. When you're working on what the client cares about most, and what worries them most, you learn what’s important to them. You begin to notice, "Oh, I see clients need this kind of document, or this kind of training, or this kind of support, or this kind of software." Now you know that your next offering is a valuable one because you were fixing it right in there with the client themselves.
- It allows you to charge the premium. You've identified a very important point for your client. They want it resolved. And you're going to say, "Yes, we can do it. Let's get started." There's value in that. The client will pay the premium for that solution delivered at maximum speed with minimum risk.
Post in the comments below, which of these leverage points is most exciting for you. So, "Hey, Alzay, I liked this idea of the one, done for you, project because it will allow me to do this, do this, do that or do that or maybe some other point of leverage!” But what is it about this idea that you find valuable? Post that in the comments below, I'll be sure to respond to you.
See you in the next video, when we’ll be talking about how to handle CEOs and their eccentricities. We’re going to show what you can do to keep it all under control.