Million Dollar Consulting® Mindset
From Alan Weiss
Volume 1 Number 10
A monthly newsletter with the objective of quickly and pragmatically helping consultants to improve their craft, results, and lives.
The Power of Language
Language controls discussion; discussion controls relationships; relationships control business. The progression is that simple. Thus, the language you use is critical, which means that both “scripted” (prepared) and spontaneous expression are vital to master.
Some quick examples:
- The prospect says, “We should talk more about this in the future. Call me in a few weeks.” You reply, “Both of our schedules are packed, so while we’re together, let’s look at our calendars and choose a time and date for our next meeting.”
- The buyer says, “We don’t use consultants.” You say, “That’s exactly what some of my best clients said in our first meeting. Do you want to know why they’re now clients?”
- The gatekeeper says, “I’ve been tasked to vet venders.” You say, “I appreciate that, but I’m a consultant not a vender and you don’t have the information I need to submit a proposal. Would you want to be responsible for submitting a proposal to your boss with incorrect parameters and fees?”
- The accounts payable manager says, “We have our policies, and we don’t pay within 90 days.” You say, “Your major policy is to adhere to the ethics and legal requirements of your organization, and I have a contact that calls for immediate payment. Would you like to talk directly to my client or to the general counsel?”
In general: Be direct, pithy, civil, and firm. Anticipate reasonable objections and pitfalls, and prepare the proper language and tone.
I was shaking hands with the buyer over an oral agreement, and he said, “Can you start on Monday? I’ll put the paperwork through as soon as you provide an invoice.”
“I can and will,” I said, “but you need to do me a favor. Your accounts payable people can’t share in this handshake, and they’re going to put the invoice in a pile to be paid in two months. Can you call them right now and alert them to the agreement and that they need to pay the deposit next week, preferably while I’m on site?”
“I’ll do it now,” he said, picking up the phone. “I have to admit, we’re not as aggressive about collections as you are!”
“That’s why you need me,” I said.
Frequently Asked Question
Q. What do I do when the procurement or accounts payable people insist on paying me long after the agreed-upon payment date? How do I convince them to change their policy?
A. You don’t. Go to your buyer and explain that you had a deal, and that he or she needs to break up the log jam. In your proposal, always state under “joint accountabilities” that the buyer is responsible for ensuring you are paid according the payment terms of the proposal. In worst case, stop working until you are paid. A “60-day payment policy,” in today’s electronic age, simply means your invoice will sit on someone’s desk for 59 days.
A “mini-Consulting College, with a quarter century of consulting success presented in terms of thought leadership, Million Dollar Referrals, exploiting the two sales you make with a proposal, remote coaching and consulting, setting the highest fees of your life and getting them before the project begins, and much more. First 25 people get a free, third morning with a personal debrief by Alan. Dinner for 12 available with Alan on November 15 (two seats remain!). The one-time opportunity of a lifetime.
January 12, 2012
Join me in Miami on January 12 and/or 13 to learn what I would counsel if I had written this 20-year best-seller today. Join me for new intellectual property, different ways to look at what you thought you knew, a free reception, and a great learning experience that includes the power of language and influence. November 15, 2011 cutoff for discounted participation. Never before and never again, don’t miss this.
November 30, 2011
Rhode Island (venue to be announced)
Base on my new book Million Dollar Referrals and a wildly successful teleconference, this day will enable you to create ongoing solicited and unsolicited referral business; learn and apply the best language to maximize referrals: provide profiles of your ideal referrals. We’ll video the predominantly live, practice work, and you’re free to record all of your personal sessions. This is the only one scheduled. Huge discount if you attended either of my teleconferences on referrals.
© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.
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