How consultants should sell to entrepreneurs?
Being an entrepreneur, I meet lot of consultants. I am amazed that so many of them have no idea what entrepreneurs looking for. This was motivation enough for me to write something on it. Don't get me wrong, there are so many exceptionally good consultants in the market that myself and other entrepreneurs love to work with.
Never write-off an entrepreneur
There are many consultants (mostly ones who've just quit their corporate jobs and entered the market recently) make the common mistake of prejudging an entrepreneur. They have their ideal image of an entrepreneur in a suit and a luxurious office. When they see somebody who is unconventional, they begin with skepticism and the entrepreneur will most likely see that.
Many will even begin to question the entrepreneur's ability to succeed or even pay their consulting fees. They begin asking questions like what is your experience, what makes you think this idea will work?, etc. This is an absolute no-no. Entrepreneurs subconsiously want to work with people who believe in them.
Don't shoot down his idea
There was this consultant whom I had a meeting with, She shot down my idea so many times that I just didn't want to see her again. The bottom line is every idea needs to be revisited, twinged and modified as you get new market information. Every entrepreneur thinks his idea is the next best thing in the market. Don't shoot him down - you will only be shooting yourself. Don't be judgemental, instead offer solutions. And remember the entrepreneur might have been in the market more than you and it is his fulltime job - he may know the industry better than you.
Establish a connection before you sell
There are entrepreneurs who want to get comfortable before they establish a business relationship. Make sure you make the entrepreneur comfortable before you sell him your services.
More importantly think like one
Entrepreneurs want results, make sure you get him results. Also make sure you understand his situation. Entrepreneurs go through so much stress everyday, you don't want to increase that stress level. Make sure you let him know that you have his benefit and solely his benefit in mind.