Transforming Consultations into Commitments: The Power of Immediate Strategy and Paid Discovery

In technology consulting, the transition from a warm sales call to a proposal request is more art than science. My formula? A blend of immediate strategy and tangible value, delivered *on the spot*. Here’s how I do it:

1. Deep Dive into Needs and Pain Points: This is the usual conversation that begins with understanding the client’s vision and challenges. Nothing unusual here.

2. Immediate Strategy Outline: I pivot to outlining a strategic plan, architecture, phased approach, and a high-level roadmap right then and there. The magic words? “You should consider this…” rather than “We can do this for you…”. This subtle shift positions the advice as a roadmap they own, not a service I’m selling.

3. Advocate for a POC: Particularly with new or complex technologies, I recommend a small Proof of Concept (POC). This isn’t just advice, it’s a strategy to mitigate risk and ensure alignment before a full-scale project.

4. Leverage Past Successes: Drawing from a my experience, I share similar success stories. This not only showcases expertise but also builds confidence in the proposed strategy.

5. Immediate Feedback Loop: By asking about their capabilities, resources, and timelines, I engage the client in a dialogue that often leads to an acknowledgment of their need for expert assistance. The usual “we need this yesterday and we don’t have anyone to do it right now”.

6. Propose a Deep Discovery: For larger engagements, a deep dive discovery is a must. Unlike the common practice, I insist this be a paid engagement, even if it’s just for a few hours. This not only ensures the client is invested but also allows for the creation of a detailed proposal without full commitment upfront.

This approach does carry risks – a client might take the proposal and look elsewhere. However, my experience has usually been positive, often leading to more significant engagements.

In sharing this, I hope to spark a conversation on the value of immediate, actionable strategy in consulting. Have you found similar approaches in your practice? How do you bridge the gap between initial consultation and engagement?