Smaller Consulting Companies Can Eat the Elephant – One Bite at a Time

elephantThere is something in a salesperson’s DNA that makes hunting the “big deal” a strong attraction. Maybe it’s the power, the recognition of a big win, or the dream of a large commission check, however when selling for a smaller consulting company it might be wise to put down the elephant gun and change your thinking. You can still get the big prize, but not today and surely not in one sitting.

Customers with a need for very large projects seem to gravitate to the big Accounting/Consulting firms. These large consulting firms consistently play the “SIZE MATTERS” card to convince customers that their size, brand, and high pricing mitigates risk. The smaller consulting firms often get trapped in the RFP game, designed to round out the field and display to the ultimate decision makers, that due diligence was served. The sales person from a smaller consulting firm spends time, effort and the mental cycles of the delivery team compiling RFP after RFP that dies on the forecast projection. Besides, in many cases winning that very large deal upfront will often but a strain on delivery resources.

The smaller consulting firm must reinvent themselves from trying to sell the huge project upfront to relying on delivery to grow the base. Call it “get your foot in the door” or start off with a small project to prove your value, it will work and is the path to long-term growth. The big boys don’t like to play in that world and their resources aren’t allocated that way. I’m not suggesting one walks away from the Elephant, just eat it one bite at a time. Demonstrated value will always win in the long run over marketing promises.

So before you go out there to hunt those huge deals, leave your Elephant gun behind and target smaller “proof of concept” opportunities that can grow when nurtured properly. If you should stumble across a very large deal, use your selling ability to convince the prospect to break it into small pieces to mitigate risk and adopt a value as you go philosophy. Take the opportunity into your backyard and leave the big boys out on the plains.

Author: Rich Lucia

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