The first hard lesson I learned when I started my own training company was that businesses can take A LONG TIME to make a decision! However well a meeting went, however much time I put into a proposal, it seemed decision makers did not share my urgency when it came to making a commitment.
In this article I am sharing the ‘secret’ method that I stumbled on accidentally and how it helped me speed up the decision making process and put cash in the bank quickly!
One of the biggest challenges with selling is that often the client does not have the same sense of urgency that you do. Anyone who sells bespoke solutions has experienced this. There’s a good chance you’ve written a proposal, put hours of work into it, and when you follow up you hear, “, Next month,” or “We’re going to make a decision next week,” or “It’s on hold.”
Your biggest competition is NOT the other supplier. It’s the status quo. Most people would rather stick with what they know than take the risk of making a change, so it’s easy to keep putting you off.
I quickly realized I did not have the funds to finance long decision-making time. In some cases it could take 6 or 12 months before I saw any real business gains, and I knew that I was going to be out of cash well before then. I needed a way to turn things around – fast.
In desperation, I thought: “What if I hire a room in a hotel, run a day on my specialist subject, and do it as an open program?” I had nothing to lose, so I gave it a try.
Running my own open courses DID help position me as an expert and gain invaluable experience ‘in the field.’ It helped me ‘showcase’ my expertise. There were some people who came on the course and said, “This is great. We need to bring you in-house.” So it sped up the process of generating paid work.
If you market your open programs well, not only can you ensure that your events sell out every time, but you can also use these events as a platform for your in-house services.
When I packaged my in-house training into an easier to buy, off-the-shelf solution, it generated immediate benefits. I got the primary cash-flow coming from bookings for my training course, followed by the secondary benefits of bookings for in-house trainings.
If you are a trainer, coach, consultant or offering any form of professional service you MUST seriously think about offering your expertise via an open seminar, workshop or training course. Market it the right way and it will put immediate cash in the bank, and help you generate follow-on ‘in-house’ business.