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How to close clients in consulting

How to close a client for consulting in 6 simple steps [With tips]

Key Takeaways
  • 87% of clients said that due to COVID, trust became the primary influencing factor for purchasing decisions.
  • Consulting is more than advice, so to close a deal, you need to understand your client's needs, leverage data and make efforts to take prospects into confidence.
  • You must build rapport, showcase your expertise, and convey your USPs for securing the client's trust and closing consultant sales.
  • Address your client's objections well, and you will quickly get the deal.

Do you know? Only 20% of new consulting companies make it beyond two years of operations.  

This shows that surviving your consulting business is a challenging task.   

Also, 87% of clients said that trust had become the primary influencing factor for their purchasing decisions due to COVID.  

Also, the average closing rate for all industries is 19%, and the consulting industry is no different from it.   

To close a client or a deal, you must try to gain their trust and present your high-value propositions.

Let’s dive into the steps to close a consulting deal in detail. 

6 Simple steps to close a deal for your consulting business

Steps to close a consulting client

Step 1: Qualify your prospect to determine if they’re a good fit  

You might not receive high-quality leads every time from your marketing efforts, so how to discover whether you are dealing with an ideal fit?  

Good consultants understand the importance of qualifying prospects based on their target audience’s desires, problems, and uncertainties to ensure they invest their energy in the right person.  

So, you must qualify your prospects based on certain criteria, such as…  

  • Do they have the desired budget?   
  • Are you talking to the decision maker or gatekeeper?  
  • What are the most critical challenges your prospects are facing and is your product a solution?  

Discovering such information will help you identify your potential clients.   

Here are some more tips to help you qualify leads effectively:   

  • Build your buyer persona so that it would be easy to identify your prospective clients. Also, it increases the chances of converting leads into paying clients.    
  • Identify the target’s feasibility by considering geographical location, online access, and trust in payment systems.    
  • You can also qualify the lead by understanding their requirements, such as budget and urgency.  
  • You can use a sales qualification framework.  

Most of the consultants use the BANT framework. This lead qualification model helps you decide based on budget, power, problem, and engagement readiness.  

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Step 2: Build rapport and trust among your prospective clients  

Once you’ve discovered the client is the ideal fit, begin with your efforts to gain trust and build rapport.  

Besides your expertise, social proofs are the major factor that can help you build trust and rapport among your prospects.  

Building rapport and trust amongst your prospects is vital as it helps you land more deals, gain a competitive edge, and improve your consultancy goodwill.   

When you succeed in providing an exceptional customer experience, you end up with a loyal client. Later, such loyal clients will bring leads through referrals, reviews, and mouth promotions.   

Here are some fantastic tips to win your client’s trust and build a strong rapport:  

  • Empathize with your client’s situation and show how you’ve successfully helped clients with similar situations.  
  • Be a good listener firstly to gain every key detail regarding the client’s concerns and desires.  
  • Mirror your client’s tone, language, and pace for an emotional connection.  
  • To build trust, leverage social proofs like testimonials, case studies, and online reviews.  

Step 3: Understand your client’s pain points  

Try to get detailed knowledge about their prospect’s organization, practice active listening, and have deep conversations about their challenges and desires.

Further, you can unfold their challenges by asking the right questions and identifying their roadblocks.   

By comprehending their needs, you can provide tailored solutions accordingly. Skills like effective communication, analytical thinking, and critical analysis help you achieve this goal, so cultivate them.  

Here are some tips to help you understand your client’s problem thoroughly:  

  • Engage with your prospects to discover insights beyond questionnaires. This gives you a broad view of their roadblocks.   
  • Conduct thorough research through surveys and interviews and implement live chat for clear communication.   
  • Scan their social media profiles to discover their concerns based on their activities.  
  • Utilizing smart tools like CRM and calling software to track interactions.  

Step 4: Present a unique and tailored solution  

After discovering your prospect’s pain points, it’s time to address their challenge with the ideal solution.   

Present unique and actionable solutions that help you build credibility and position you as one of the best in the market.

Here are some tips for executing this step efficiently:    

  • Collect all the relevant data by researching and analyzing the situation from different perspectives.    
  • Refer to relevant case studies and use your knowledge and network to develop a practical and effective solution.    
  • Instead of taking general or common solution roads, take a fresh and new strategic approach. Eventually, you’ll build the best solution required.  

Step 5: Address the client’s objections or concerns  

Closing a consulting deal can hardly be a smooth process. Your solution might face some objections, so you must prepare to deal with the possible ones.   

To best handle the objections, follow these 4 simple steps.  

  1. Be patient, fully listen to your client’s objections, and determine the key concerns.  
  2. Understand their objections thoughtfully and ask if they have any other issues to proceed with the deal.  
  3. Evaluate and consider the objections and come up with some true solution that solves their objections fairly.  
  4. Ask them if they are satisfied with your suggestions and if their concerns are resolved.   

Step 6: Negotiate and close the deal  

Regardless of how competitive and reasonable your consultancy pricing is, your client always finds a way to ask you for some negotiation.

Negotiating based on the values you can bring to the client’s business is one of the best ways.

Emphasize how you leveraged your expertise and formed a customized solution.   

Here are some tips on doing it in a better way:  

  • You must be prepared with high-value propositions that can bring promising results for your client. So, leverage these points at the time of negotiation.  
  • Understand the client’s key priorities. This allows you to advocate your solution’s effectiveness. When you focus on solving their critical problems, you can confidently speak and win the deal on your terms.   

Focusing on the value you provide through your solutions; this is a deal breaker.  

9 Actionable techniques to close a consulting deal faster

Digitalization has taken a lot of space to influence a client’s decision-making, so leverage the trend. Always take a customer-centric approach that helps win prospects’ trust and close the deal faster.

Effective implementation of the below closing techniques will ease your selling process.

1. Build a strong personal brand and reputation 

Establishing a strong personal brand is essential to showcase your expertise and stand among the competitors in this highly growing competitive industry. 

You can build your persona brand in three steps: 

3 Steps to build your personal brand

Step 1: Define what your consulting business is all about 

You need to define a clear brand message: this should be something you want to be known for. The best way to do it is by discovering…

  • What could be your brand promises and value propositions? 
  • How do you differ from your competitors, and what are your USPs? 
  • How will you leverage offline and online modes for branding? 
  • What should be the ideal consulting offers that will give you a competitive edge? 
  • What should be your consulting firm’s operating policies? 

Once done with the above answer, the next is to make the above information the effect of getting started with personal branding. 

Step 2: Put your consulting business presence into action 

Develop a strategy to build your personal brand offline and online.

For instance, as a consulting business, if you aim to do personal branding with LinkedIn. So, it would help if you strategized starting from profile taglines, content, publishing, networking, etc.

Step 3: Assess to regulate your branding 

Personal branding is not a one-time implement-and-done thing. Instead, you must follow the market trends and demands to regulate your strategy and add new elements to grow as a personal brand.

With a sound personal brand image, closing a client becomes much easier.

2. Keep it simple and let the client talk 

To discover and present your best solution, first, you must listen to your client carefully. Consultants who let their prospects speak and express themselves are more likely to close.

Doing so lets you understand their pain and hear them talk about the solution they expect. Also, being a good listener makes you liable to develop tailored solutions.

Keeping all the information in your mind is not feasible, so you must leverage smart technology like CRM that helps to facilitate omnichannel communication with Built-In Calling, emails, and text messaging features.

Moreover, these tools will help you keep track of your all-past communications.

VoIP systems can help you make sales call notes or automatic call recordings when communicating with prospective clients.

Plus, email and text messaging platforms can help you nurture better prospects until it gets close.

Connect to close with omnichannel!

Connect to close with omnichannel!

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3. Uncover the prospective client’s problems to get the deal 

Uncovering your client’s problems helps you deliver a unique solution and positions yourself as a valuable consultant.

Ask relevant questions that help you better discover what the key problems are. It will help you come up with accurate solutions that will help you win the deal.

For example, if your client, a SaaS company, is struggling with customer churn. In that case, you may need to examine their customer acquisition strategies, pricing models, and product features to pinpoint the root cause of the problem.

4. Represent yourself as the best solution provider 

Once you know your prospects’ problems and pains, you can become the best solution provider.

Lead with benefits over features, so simply explain how your consulting can help them overcome challenges.

Leverage your testimonials and case studies to explain how you’re the best in your domain.

Share your expert knowledge and freebies through your social media post or newsletters that can help you build trust in your prospects.

Related read: How to promote your consulting business? 

5. Tailor your services to meet your client’s shifting expectations 

The constant shift in clients’ expectations and demands is a challenge that can be overcome.

To do so, you must stay updated on market trends and emerging challenges to ensure your services align with client needs.

To offer tailored services, firstly conduct thorough research to understand market dynamics and the pain points of your target audience.

Then, develop customized solutions that address specific challenges and demonstrate your ability to deliver results.

Moreover, effective communication and data-driven insights are essential to understand your prospective client’s needs. If you can crack this well, the closing will no longer be a tough nut.

6. Leveraging data-driven insights to improve consulting deal closing

Consulting businesses must leverage tools to get insights from potential clients’ data.

For instance, a CRM with profile enrichment can give more details about prospective clients’ social media profiles and demographic data.

Advanced tools can help you understand prospective clients’ buying behavior to close them easily.

You can discover… 

  • Why are your prospects making a specific purchase? 
  • Whom should you target with your specific consulting offers? 
  • What are the best consulting services you can close a deal for? 

Implement a robust CRM system to manage client interactions and leverage data analytics to gain insights into client behavior and preferences to offer tailored solutions and win the deal.

Make informed decisions to close faster!

Make informed decisions to close faster!

Empower your team to drive more sales with insights from sales reports. Also, better forecasts to boost business growth.

Explore Sales Intelligence

7. Address the economic uncertainties and budget constraints 

You can overcome economic uncertainties by highlighting the value and ROI (return on investment) your consulting services can drive. 

One of the best ways to do this is by showing you testimonials and case studies demonstrating how you helped your clients best by saving their costs, boosting results, and making more revenue.

Another factor is your consulting pricing strategy; ensure to set your consulting fees considering budget constraints.   

Pricing strategies such as value-based, bunding, and performance-based are cost-effective strategies to overcome budget constraints.   

8. Get personal and be enthusiastic about their business 

When your clients feel that you are enthusiastic about their business, they feel valued.

This creates a sense that you are trying to understand the business and thus can provide the best solution to them.

Further, going beyond official things always works in the consulting industry. It makes your client feel special because it shows that you care for them beyond the business.

This strengthens relationships, benefiting you on various grounds. 

9. Create a financial urgency 

Financial urgency is a technique that always works to close consulting deals. Usually, prospects are convinced of your product but delay the decisive moment.  

By creating a financial urgency through limited sessions, discounts, or early bird offers, you can persuade them to make the decision quicker. 

For example, go through the LinkedIn post below to see how the consultant created a sense of financial urgency:

Example of urgency created by real estate agents

Wrapping up 

Consulting is more than advice, so to close a deal, you need to understand how your client feels and their buying intent through data and make efforts towards winning the client.

When selling consulting services, it becomes crucial to tailor your approach to the client’s specific needs and demonstrate the value you can bring them.

You must develop an effective sales process for closing deals which mainly involves steps for qualifying your prospects, understanding their pain points, addressing their concerns, and ultimately securing their commitment.

Moreover, you must uncover your prospect’s business pain points, listen patiently to get enough information about their concerns, and then present a tailored solution.

Frequently asked questions

What do you mean by closing a client?

In the consulting industry, closing a prospective client means finalizing a sale or signing a contract, in simple words, getting the client on board.

What is the most significant thing expected from a consultant?

You must provide information and expertise for your client’s project as a consultant. Analyzing the problem and suggesting the appropriate solution is your primary responsibility.

How to end a consulting contract?

A consulting contract is terminated with a letter of notice. It has a definite period mentioned under which you are to finish the leftover work, if any.

What makes a consultant successful?

A consultant’s intuitive communication and problem-solving skills make them successful.

How do you close a consulting deal?

There are six simple steps to close your consulting deal: 

  1. Qualify your prospect to determine if they’re a good fit. 
  2. Build rapport and trust among your prospective clients. 
  3. Understand your client’s pain points. 
  4. Present a unique and tailored solution.  
  5. Address the client’s objections or concerns. 
  6. Negotiate and close the deal. 

Dhanashree Pal

Dhanashree has been into writing since her teens. She believes writing is the best way to express and explain everything happening in this world. Reading and imagining are something she can do for hours. Enthusiastic about exploring new places and food. Young and hopeful of becoming better with every passing day.

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