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Dealing With Clients Who Asks For Too Much “Free Advice”

In the spirit of helping you avoid giving away too much IP or advice for free to potential clients, allow us to share with you the Wize way of dealing with prospecting chats.

There are 7 Divisions in a business. Division 4 is Production and Division 3 is Sales.

The Senior Client Manager’s (SCM) job is to “sell” and his/her KPI is not time on the clock but the number of proposals sent. The Senior Production Manager is the grinder who does the review and checking and training of staff and does not speak with clients.

In the Capacity Planner that we use, the SCM’s budgeted productivity is only at 50% to 60% versus the Grinders is at 85% to 90%. This is because much of his/her time is “sales” and not “production”.

His/her wages are covered in the charge-out rates of the grinders as the Admin wages are also covered in this way.

We give 5 to 10 minutes of advice for free but predominantly they need to take the client through the sales journey:

  1. Discovery. Identify the problem and possible solution
  2. Send Proposal with price
  3. Production.

Upon acceptance of the proposal and price, it then goes to Production.

The most successful SCM goes from “Discovery” to “Proposal” extremely quickly and they always seem to send out a record number of proposals each day. Their KPI should be the number of proposals sent. Yes, it’s a bit of a skill to be able to “not give all your IP away” in a conversation and be able to stop and say “I will send you out a proposal of what can be done”.

In the proposal, there will be a price. Clients then will have time to consider the proposal and the price and if agreeable, they sign the proposal and send it back. Only after acceptance of the proposal should it be sent to production.

This has several benefits:

  1. You are not giving all IP away in a conversation
  2. The SCM is the only one that does this and not all staff.

The grinders just do production work and the SCM are the ones with communication and interpersonal skills including sales skills. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect your grinders to “sell”. The right person/SCM is doing this should love “sales”. They are trained and skilled in the art of moving from Discovery to Proposal in the least amount of time.

For example, if a client asked whether his business has to pay FBT, you can discuss briefly what FBT is and then say you will assess his situation in detail and send him/her a proposal.

In the proposal, you can add the client’s situation briefly and what is required to determine whether he is subject to FBT and the cost to do this. If the client wants to go ahead then he/she will sign the proposal and return it. If not, he will not sign and you can get on with other work.

If you look at our Ideal Team structure you will see an SCM (Senior Client Manager who takes care of communication/advice/sales to A&B clients) and an ACM (Assistant Client Manager who takes care of communication advice and sales with C&D clients).

A Senior Production Manager (does not speak to clients) and the rest of the team are grinders that are not required to speak to the client. So, everyone is working in their flow. Don’t play people out of position. You will get much more productivity from your people if they work in their flow. So, start with the Wize Team blueprint and then recruit to fill those positions.

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