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2 min read

A Three-Step Solution to Stop Giving Free Advice

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We’re all too familiar with the anguish of giving free advice we know our clients need. We’re also used to arriving at the scene after they've spent their IT budget on tech without a plan. Let’s deal with both problems in one go.


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It's time to break the cycle and start charging for pre-sales consulting services

As technology gets both more complex and more essential to our clients’ business, so does the need for consultation done in advance. The clients don’t plan that far, and aren’t keen on the expense. We need to be further upstream in the process both to create an efficient solution, but also to charge for it. Complex technology projects like cloud migration need a plan to make efficient use of their available resources.

“A billable Digital Solution focused project incorporated the People, the Process and then the Technology and delivers greater ROI to your clients.”

The solution will need to address three aspects: people, process, and then technology. For any system to work the processes need establishing, then the humans need to learn and adopt them. When you start with the people and processes, you’re moving upstream, giving advice that the client values right from the start. If you focus first on the tech, you’re seen as a tech vendor, and fix your position downstream. Worse, if your solution fails as a result of their failure to adopt process, they’ll blame you and shop elsewhere.

Reposition yourself as a business consultant. Present a solution to their challenges that considers the people and process first.


Tip # 1 -. Meet with their team to truly understand what problem they are trying to solve.

The first step is to grasp the challenge they’re facing. Include them in this quest, like training their salespeople in the systems and processes.


Tip # 2 - Follow a simple framework to work with their team and leverage their expertise to develop the high level processes needed for success.

Second, assess their ability to take it on. This includes their staff levels, or skills they don’t have yet, like automated follow-up emailing.


Tip # 3 - Final step in the process is to present a proposal to deliver the technology solutions knowing that this implementation will solve their problems.

Third, you'll be able to suggest a technology solution that considers their situation, like CRM software. Now you're charging for all your expert consultation, and delivering real business solutions.

We call it a "Digital Transformation Discovery Workshop" so you can put it at the front of all developments. Charge $1500 to $3000 for your work that will make most efficient use of their investment. You'll transform into a business consultant, and a partner in their endeavors.


On a Bumper Sticker

MSPs are focusing on only one part of a "Digital Solution" - the Technology, and not on the People or Process. Include all three to not only raise your perceived value, but also stop having to give it for free.


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