How do you sell strategy?

First let me say that if you are still working your full-time job or have less than 2 years under your belt as a business owner, this may not be the ideal opportunity for you to try and sell strategy.

Simply because you don’t have that experience yet. No doubt you have the skills, but to differentiate yourself as a consultant rather than a developer or designer comes with a proven track record of success.

I’m not saying that you can’t sell strategy, in fact, I would suggest selling discovery phases which are strategy sessions of a different sort.

What I’m saying is that if you want to be a consultant selling strategy to a client, you have to be positioned as an expert in a particular space, understand the hurdles on the track and how to get over them, and most importantly, you have to be sure of certain outcomes of the project.

With that caveat out of the way, let’s dive into how to sell strategy.

1. Understand the problem

An absolute must to selling strategy is a full understanding of the problem. This means that you have to be able to notice a lead that has this particular problem and then have the solution to that problem.

The most important piece of this is to then connect all the dots in between. You do this by walking through the problem, then the process with milestones attached and then what the dream is on the other side.

2. Your process

The process you use here is important. It needs to illustrate progress to the end goal. The dream of what the client has at the end of the project.

Imagine building a house and as the days and months go by and you don’t see the blueprints, plans, permits, foundation being poured, walls going up and so on, you’d no doubt be disappointed.

By explaining during the sales process what the process of getting to the solution will be, you help the client visualize their journey through the strategy and then getting to that implementation.

Illustrating your process will establish that you’ve been down this road before. Allowing your client to feel that they made the right decision.

3. What’s next?

Whether or not you are doing the implementation, that’s what will come from your strategy sessions.

To be honest, doing the implementation yourself will further establish you as an expert. You’ll simply be able to speak to obstacles that may come up, and you’ll be able to fully understand what the next steps in the dream are.

This is the best opportunity to hand off the deliverable as a proposal/contract to your client. Obviously, you’ve gone through and walked them on every step of the process of the service that is to be implemented, what better person for the job than you, right?

If the strategy and deliverable were outstanding, you should have no problem in closing the deal for the next phase of that project which is the implementation.


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