In Reply to Parent Post by tomvehoski
My biggest problem getting business was my bill rate - I was set at $125/hr, and was constantly being undercut by independents and even MMTC. Even though I had great client references, most potential clients would not justify the added expense.
I interviewed with a couple local firms over the last few months. One was only able to bill about $50/hr for FMEA and process improvement work.
What am I missing here?
There was a period in my life when I was the "expert from afar." I was greedy and charged as much as the market would bear. I traveled with an entourage and billed for them, too, although their real purpose was to give the impression our firm had bench strength.
Despite all that, we were effective because we sold the value added aspect of our service to the guy who had the power to implement our suggestions before we ever gave one suggestion.
Are these prospective clients buying results
? Are the consultants selling results
Forty years ago, my Mentor in sales made the following pronouncements
- People buy benefits, not things.
- Salespeople should sell benefits, not things (i.e. "holes" not "drill bits")
- All things considered, a person prefers to buy from a another person he perceives to be a friend.
- One way to be a friend is to understand what the customer needs and sell him that. (That said, some customers need the ego boost of owning the most expensive thing.)
Every day since then, I see salespeople violate those principles and become "order takers" instead of sellers.
Once a seller becomes an order taker, he is at the mercy of price wars, because he has allowed his product or service to become a commodity. He is no longer selling benefits, he's selling things.
One result is an absolute certainty - when you sell "things," there is always someone who will sell those things cheaper.
Can you perceive a person to be a friend if you don't respect him? Can you respect the guy who says, "I have the same thing, only cheaper."
Or do you think to yourself, "I wonder who sells it even cheaper?"
Finally, if you don't respect the person, why on earth would you respect the recommendations he makes?