Consultant Training - Sell your way out of economic recession


During today's challenging financial climate, more consultants are being asked to help their companies sell their way out of trouble.  However, the reality is that although many traditional delivery consultants are perfectly placed within the customer to sell, they don't view sales as 'their' thing, and are delaying seeking out potentially vital business development opportunities. 

Anthony Rees of Elevation Learning offers some tips on how to get even the most reluctant consultant started...

  1.  Empathise with any qualms they may have... and equip your consultants with robust training and clear objectives
     It is important to accept that many delivery consultants will be nervous about being asked to sell. Your role as employer is to empower them to master the new skill, and convince them that it is one that will add another important string to their bow.  Then provide them with the tools, techniques and confidence to succeed. 

    Start by researching a good sales training course like Elevation Learning’ ‘selling skills for consultants’. This practical, intensive 2-day consulting training course is designed to develop Consultants' Selling Skills. By the end of the course they will have a better understanding of the key tasks involved in selling and how to perform them well.

  2. Get them to do the simple things well
     Boost their confidence by enabling them to get some quick wins. There are a few easy things delivery consultants can do within their existing clients to improve their sales opportunities so that with just a small amount of effort, these can bring in sales leads. 

    Your consultants can deliver well - which is sure to lead to great word of mouth and reputation about your firm, and they can make sure people know who they work for. This doesn't mean going mad and splashing about marketing material, but a subtle company name on a pen or gift, or a key mention in the right conversation or meeting at the right time can work wonders - might turn out to be just the introduction your business needs to a key mover or shaker.

    Also, help your consultants seek out opportunities to network with colleagues that may be working within the same client but in a different part of the organisation. Enable them to discuss the type of work they are both doing and where they can possibly add additional value/follow on to current projects.  

  3. Get them thinking about new audiences
    Consultants who are new to sales can easily get stuck in a rut by going for the 'safe option' and only selling to people they already know.  But there is no reason why they shouldn't have equal success by expanding their horizons a little. 

    Encourage your consultants to meet influencers or decision makers in new business units within their current client organisations, subsidiary businesses or sister companies - any of whom might need your services.  

  4. Educate them in the art of gathering vital intelligence
    Train your consultants to keep their ear to the ground whilst out and about or on client site; so that if they hear about business problems you might have a solution to, they immediately think 'sales opportunity'.  Then, make it easy for them to report the potential lead back to whoever will run with it. 

    Design and implement a simple process that enables the consultant to capture vital information and pass it on to the best person quickly. 

    Even if they are up to their eyes delivering a project, encourage them to look up and across every now and again to see if there is a new client they can help, or a titbit of information they can pass to a colleague who might also be looking for potential leads.  It's about keeping their eyes and ears open at all times. 

  5. Ensure they understand the importance of networking
    Chatting to people, attending workshops, making the time to introduce themselves to people during coffee/in the canteen/after a seminar - are all things that can lead to new conversations and opportunities. 

    When they are up against delivery deadline and under pressure, consultants often let these things slide.  Empower and encourage them to continue to spend some time networking and wiring themselves in to the wider business community.  You just never know what conversations they might have and what they will lead to - plus, networking provides an important boost to energy levels, confidence and their CV.

  6. Pitch the benefits of becoming more sales focussed to them
    Ultimately, becoming more sales focussed can only be a good thing for your consultants.  That's not to say that many won't prefer the delivery side of their job, but possessing the enhanced interpersonal skills and confidence that comes with sales experience can only be a positive addition to their skill set. 

    Pitch it to them that not only will mastering sales help advance their career in your business, it will make them a more attractive prospect should they ever leave for pastures new.  More and more small and large firms want people who can manage and sell to stakeholders in delicate situations - and you will be helping them to hone these important abilities.

The bottom line is that you can sell your way out of the current financial crisis, if you focus on which current and new clients are still in the market to buy your services - and get your experienced delivery consultants to re-focus on business development.  The result?  A healthier bottom line for your organisation, and an extended CV and skill set for them. 

Training for Consultants

Elevation Learning specialises in developing the performance of professionals, consultants and technical specialists so they bring increased value to their clients.

They design and deliver consultant training that addresses the core challenges involved in selling and delivering professional services. Elevation Learning training programmes include bespoke consultancy skills training that can be specially tailored for the needs of a single organisation, or through public consultant training courses which anyone can attend.

For more information call Elevation Learning on +44 (0)20 8642 9568 or visit

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