Larry’s wit and your warmth worked perfectly over dinner. His incisive questions, his cogent observations, and his spot-on stories held the prospect rapt from the appetizer through the dessert. And this wasn’t some trick Larry played. He wasn’t just performing. Larry was giving them a genuine sample of his talent and his professionalism: how he thinks, how he relates, how he problem-solves in a very focused, collaborative, and sophisticated way.
Larry delivered substantial value that evening—leaving the prospect with expert analysis, probable diagnoses of tough challenges, and possible solutions. If the client had picked up the tab for dinner, it would have been an investment with a return already delivered. But of course, they didn’t! Larry picked up the tab, because this was basically a pitch.
A pitch that worked! Larry learned less than four days later that he won the business.
Life After the Pitch: Now What?
Now the heavy lifting would begin. He knew, about halfway through dinner, that this client was seeking blended learning for their sales staff. Training workshops and business development clinics (Larry’s specialty) would be part of the solution, but they expected online learning modules as well. Larry had known throughout his first three years in sales consulting that one day he would need to develop an online learning component to his offerings, but he was able to put off the project because no client had yet insisted. His business was growing nicely—he had even taken on two professional associates—and the lack of an online offering was not a problem until now.
He dreaded the project. His expertise lay in sales and consulting, not in instructional design, graphics, automated content management systems, and all the other disciplines inherent in producing high-quality online courses. This new client, a mid-range six-figure deal, meant he could put it off no longer. He needed to dive in, become a learner himself, get up to speed, and all the while not lose a step with his other clients.
What Would You Do?
In the nick of time, a friend told him he could license the online sales training courses he needed. He worried those courses would conflict the values and practices he instills in the sales teams with whom he works, indeed, that they would conflict with the very reasons this sizeable client had hired him in the first place. But he started checking online and was delighted to find an available online offering was aligned with his philosophy and met his standards.
Okay, fair enough, I’ll admit that what Larry found and licensed was our online learning courses, so yeah, this is an unabashed sales pitch. But wait. That doesn’t make it any less relatable, any less useful to you, any less true. And we’ll be the first (a) to admit that there are other content sources for B2B sales consultants like Larry—and you—and (b) to ask you to compare. Because we think we’ll come out smelling like a rose when you do.
We not only got Larry past his very high content hurdle; we also put a little extra jingle in his pocket, because our resources and course offerings come with a pretty attractive rev-share system as well. It was such a win-win I just had to share the story with you.
There are several takeaways from this story:
- You don’t need to rely solely on your (or your team’s) ability to generate new content. You have other options.
- It’s increasingly difficult to remain viable and credible if your consulting and training services and modalities don’t cover the waterfront. Having a gaping hole in your offerings is like tossing prospects into the arms of your competitors.
- All of your content needs to be delivered via strong media that is appealing to today’s audiences, whether classroom, online, or one-on-one. Even if your actual content is strong, it still must look strong—because both the executives who purchase your services and the learners who take your training will judge you first by how your stuff looks, and second by how well it works.
- It really is possible to use a mix of materials you’ve produced and other materials you’ve licensed, sometimes with very little adjustment; adding licensed content into your mix allows you to maximize service to your clients.
The content hurdle we helped Larry clear is just one of the 5 big hurdles a great many B2B sales consultants face. Learn about all 5 in our free ebook, The 5 Hurdles Every Successful Sales Consulting and Training Firm Must Clear.