How to sell and price consultation

“It’s a 45 minute call! How can you look me in the eye and charge that much?!”

Is hearing that the biggest reason you’re not offering consultation?

Consultation is a MASSIVE opportunity for funnel builders and their businesses. It’s scalable, easy to deliver and doesn’t require any building in order to do it.

I’m going to show you how to sell and price consultation to your customers, for funnel based projects.

We have a tendency to fear selling our knowledge, or consulting customers. There’s a misconception that because we can solve their problems and help them, then it’s not that valuable.

Part of this is based in our own levels of respect and value. Part of it is dealing with low value customers who don’t appreciate clarity and insight.

If I could pay someone to give me clarity, insight and an action plan – that’s something I want to buy. I’ve spent over $2000 on single hour consultations sessions just so I can get clarity on something very very specific.

Let’s say you could give someone a masterclass on email marketing. Or you could help them design their entire funnel.

What if you could help them clarify their vision for their business? Or their goals and tasks for the next 6 months? I guarantee that there are customers out there willing to pay for that.

 

Times to offer consultation

Throughout the funnel building process there are key times which benefit customers the most with consultation. As well as times that are beneficial to the customer outside of project work.

  • Qualification before the project starts
  • Discovery after the project starts but before delivery
  • Action plans after a project delivery

These are the 3 key times that your customers will benefit from consultation.

Qualification before the project starts

Before any new project starts, be it big or small, businesses and customers want clarity and direction on what they need to do. They want options, ideas, estimates and reassurance on their choices.

From new websites, to re-brands and new campaigns. Projects could be anything in scale. The size of the project is also a very VERY good indicator of how much you can charge for consultation.

For example, a $20 000 website redesign with $10 000 marketing budget would easily allow for a $3000 – $5000 consultation session.

But a $1000 poster design is unlikely to yield even a $500 consultation.

Qualification before a project starts can also give you a great lead in to delivering work for the customer. We often equate this to an architect or interior designer.

Interior designers, architects or building surveyors will often charge for consultation on what your options are. The idea is that paying for an expert upfront is cheaper in the long run.

Imagine your customer spending $3000 on a consult with you, and you help save them $10 000 in work. That makes sense right?

Or how about if your session MADE them $10 000 in a year? Again, that’d be worth paying for.

Before a project even starts you can give total clarity on the direction, priorities and options for a customer and let them make an informed decision. That’s valuable to customers and they’ll pay for it.

Discovery after the project starts but before delivery

Let’s say you’ve started your project and signed a contract for a $15 000 marketing funnel. Landing pages, email automation, sales pages, content silos.

Your initial pre-project qualification consult showed that a small sales funnel for one product is the way to go. So now you’ve started the project.

Discovery consultation after the project has started is the next stage. Typically we’ll include this consultation in our project fees anyway. But it’s useful to understand why we do it.

This is when customers are most excited. They’re eager to start seeing results and they want to input all their ideas. However it’s also the most dangerous time, because they’ll start thinking WAY outside the box.

That’s fine, but it also need to be controlled and managed. Just after the project starts is where most projects fail.

Failure to complete a thorough discovery process during a project start is a sure way to see any project go off the rails.

Your job here is to gather as much information as possible. The content, assets, ideas, wishes, goals and skeletons in the closet.

By having an inventory, you can suggest how we move forward.

It’s critical I might add, that you’re not tricked into doing this consultation BEFORE the project starts or for free. Some low value customers will ask for this type of exercise for free and upfront, stating that they don’t want to pay you and find out they can’t do what they want.

Qualification is to discover what they want to do and what resources they have. Discovery is about collecting those resources and putting them into a plan.

Action plans after a project delivery

Finally, you’ve delivered the project. Now what?

Well, that’s kind of your job. A debrief of the project and investigating what’s next should be a consultation package you provide.

Action plans of USING the project you’ve run is a great way to wrap up a project and lead into future work.

For example, let’s say you’ve set up the $15 000 funnel with sales pages and email copy.

What about traffic? Upsells? Email marketing? Content marketing?

There are always more projects to work on if you’re willing to uncover their goals and future plans. You’ve achieved one task. So what are you going to help with next?

Types of consultation

Consultation can be delivered and approached a few different ways. Group workshops, telephone calls, couch sits. The way you deliver consultation depends on your resources, the customer’s location and availability and how you want to scale.

No one is forcing you to go to their office and sit in with them. For example, to get me to your office is probably in the range of $10 000 for the day.

It’s a lot, I agree, but it also means I’m not able to manage my team or run my business for a day.

Online webinars and tele-coaching are AMAZING ways to talk to your customers. They can easily be one hour blocks and you can have multiple people join the call.

You can’t coach or consult more than one customer at once? Who says?

What if your target market simply doesn’t have $5000? Do they have $100? Or $1000? If they split the cost can you deliver the content in a different way?

Consulting is about providing direction, clarity and insight. You can even do that with RECORDINGS.

For example, for a pre-project qualification call, we’ll usually stick to a 45 minute Skype session. It’s as important to us as it is the customer that we keep it brief and make sure they get results from it.

To get me in person is not only expensive, it’s unnecessary. For the very first qualification call it just isn’t necessary.

Can I do more than one discovery call or qualification consult?

Absolutely not.

Joking. Of course you can. It’s YOUR process and it’s your consultation.

I know businesses who have a 4 hour qualification workshop with worksheets and materials. They split it over two days and the customer pays for the privilege.

I also know people who’ll do a free quick qualification call with a customer, then a further paid call in more detail later on.

Don’t think that your qualification calls aren’t valuable to the customer too. By questioning them and asking them where they want to go, you can give them insight and clarity on where they want to go.

If you want to use our Meeting Agenda Script, you can click here and use it. No optins.

Positioning it to customers

So how do we position consultation to customers? Well, it might shock you to know this, but it’s all about having conversations.

You need to understand what they want and what their goals are.

TALK to people. Offer them a free session, and when they explain their problems, offer to help them more.

Help. Conversations. I’m like a broken record.

All we’re going to ask is “can I help with that?”

For example, many businesses struggle with growth and increasing revenue. Simply by asking questions, you as a funnel expert, can very quickly see how businesses could develop new revenue streams.

We’re not saying to customers “do you want some consultation?”, because you’ll look mental. We’re asking them “do you want some help?”.

Tell them the BENEFITS that you can offer, again, staying away from words like consultation, coaching and workshops.

Talk about action plans, clarity, insight, choices and option. Talk about how we can offer them a gameplan and explore how they can grow their business.

It just so happens that consulting is ONE of the ways you can do that.

How much to charge

How much does your business cost you every day to run? Hosting, rent, bills, your salary.

Work that out. Be honest and brutal. Don’t say you don’t need Netflix if you do. Work out your costs PER DAY.

Then multiply that by 3 to 5 times. That’s usually a pretty good consultation price.

On the other hand, I know that each day I spend AWAY from my business, the costs go up.

I’m not there to manage staff, I’m not there to create content or talk to other customers. My costs of running a business go up when I’m not in it.

It’s also about what the customer is going to get from it. If I help someone sell a $100 000 dollar product in 2 days, you better believe my consultation price is $20 000.

Pitfalls of consultation

One of the massive roadblocks that prevents people from selling consultation is the actual process of consultation itself. Knowing how to consult and uncover with a customer enough information for them to feel like they’re getting their money’s worth.

Consulting and coaching, contrary to popular belief, isn’t just talking at a customer for 45 minutes and telling them everything you know. Customers who experience this usually feel great for a few hours, but the level of content we give them overwhelms them and they loose that feeling.

What we’re trying to give is CLARITY and INSIGHT. We live in a world of information overload. Information isn’t what they need. Clarity and insight is what they need.

If I spend £2000 on a consult and my consultant just talks at me for an hour, I might be super excited for a while. But after that I’m going to wonder what I got from it.

If I pay £2000 and get a clear action plan, clarity and insight on something, that’s worth every penny.

So is consultation something you’re going to offer? You should. Think about the benefits and just have conversations with customers. If you need help with running a consultation session, reach out to me and I can show you exactly how to consult customers (no charge).

 

Avatar

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.