Sales Metrics for Consultants

I wrote and published this article in December of 2010.

I work a lot with clients that are consultants. They typically don’t want to learn how to be a professional salesperson, but they want to learn how to sell well enough that their calendar is full and they’re making a good living. Even some contractors fit the mold sometimes. My dad used to install overhead garage doors and I remember him telling me before I could drive that if he could find 5 general contractors like Henry Carini, he’d have a nice business. (How’s that for a name out of the past, Mom?)

So….Let’s make this interesting.

This may shock you, but Dave Kurlan & I don’t agree on everything. For instance, Dave and I don’t agree on how quick my trigger finger is when it comes to getting rid of prospects that don’t fit my mold of my ideal client. I, like my dad, am looking for Henry Carini, who’s customers loved him. Who’s houses were first class. Who appreciated my dad’s work. Who paid his bills on time and was an all round great guy to be around. So, I use Success Secret #3 to eliminate prospects that don’t fit the mold. BOOM! Next!I

It’s not unusual for me to do a pipeline analysis with a new client a few weeks after we start working together. It often turns into a purge of useless “pretend opportunities” that my client has kept active even though they had died months before. Here comes Rick. BOOM! Next. Today, I had a client tell me that her pipeline was empty after the purge. No problem. 10 minutes later, she had three strategies that she could do that would put 12 REAL opportunities into her pipeline within two weeks.

Interestingly, sometimes we complicate things unnecessarily. This particular client works on a retainer basis and she’d be very comfortable if she had 5 retainer clients. (She’s typically had 2-3.) Think about this from the perspective of Success Secret #3. Pretend that your proposals are lousy and you only close one out of ten. Pretend also that you aren’t very effective in the middle of the sales process and only one out of ten people that you have a ‘serious’ conversation with because they ‘should’ need your stuff will even take a proposal from you. That means that one out of a hundred ‘serious’ conversations with people that look like prospects will become clients. So, if you want to have 5 clients you have to have ‘serious’ conversations with 500 people that ‘should’ need your stuff. (I’ll wait while you catch up because I know how you are with this high level math.)

Get it? 500 conversations gets you 5 clients if you stink!

Here’s the rub! How long will it take to have 500 conversations. If you do one a day, it’ll be 2012 and I’ll be retired. If you do three a day, you’ll finish next year, but you’ll have to keep doing it unless your first client re-ups. (Think about it.) If you do 10 a day, you’re a three month project and if you’re ambitious enough to talk to 25 prospects a day (that’s a lot), you are my kind of client and we’ll be done in a month. Why? Because you’ll work hard and I don’t stink.

Wes Powell is one of those clients that works hard. He posted a thank you on LinkedIn today after working with Frank and me for nine (9) weeks and I’m gonna share it here.

Rick, thanks for all your help. I just closed an $80,000 deal yesterday that I would not have closed in the past due to my reluctance to ask hard questions. I appreciate all the coaching!”

You are welcome, Wes! Incidentally folks, if you know a contractor that’s looking to get found on the internet…Wes is THE MAN!

BTW, registration ends on 12/18 for our next three month program. So if you’re looking to do something big in 2011, send me an email or call me directly.

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