For some people, closing the sale is the only thing that matters. But for many of us, what happens after the sale is even more important in the long run.
A consultant’s success goes beyond getting paid to give advice. If the client does not take the consultant’s advice, the client won’t get any value from it. And if they don’t get any value, they are not likely to hire the consultant again.
Before I started learning about High Probability Selling, I always thought that I needed to work harder to convince my clients to accept my advice. Stronger arguments, presented more enthusiastically. But it didn’t always work, and that concerned me.
And then, as I learned more about the principles behind HPS, I asked myself, “What if I delivered my ideas with less push instead of more? What if I presented them more objectively, more balanced, with both the negatives and the positives? What if I didn’t try to tell my client what to do, but rather make it completely their decision?”
Ultimately, I am selling my ideas, and I need my clients to buy into them. It’s a sale beyond the sale. It’s not about money, because they’ve already agreed to pay me to tell them what to do.
So how do I use High Probability Selling to do this sale beyond the sale? How do I deliver my advice?
I studied the process that Jacques Werth calls the Conditions of Satisfaction (in the book, High Probability Selling) and I adapted the principles behind it to deliver the details of consulting advice. In place of the list of Features, I used a very complete list of choices that the client could take. For each choice, I gave my opinions about the benefits and detriments (based only on my experience and judgment), and I also asked others to contribute their own opinions about outcomes. I usually wrote this all down on a whiteboard or flip-chart. And then, at the end, I asked the HPS Closing Question: “What do you want to do?”
No matter what they choose, I win (and so do they).