Consultants Sell More When They Stop Closing

February 13, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
The traditional advice for salespeople to focus on the “close,” doesn’t translate well to selling consulting services, says Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants co-author, Michael W. McLaughlin. “Sales experts imply that unless we’re always working toward the close, we’re just one step away from professional meltdown. With most clients, though, you’ll have far more success if you let them buy from you, instead of trying to sell them something,” he notes.

The problem with traditional selling, which includes “reeling in” the customer, falls flat if the salesperson doesn’t get the customer to “own” the sale. “If you ask for the sale before a client has taken ownership for the outcome and approach of the project, you risk losing the sale,” says McLaughlin. Instead, he advises less aggression and more listening. At some point, the customer will transition from simply understanding the proposed solution to actually owning it.

McLaughlin says that “good selling means working alongside clients, at their pace, to create a shared vision and ownership for results. Selling is not about you creating an artificial milestone called the close, but rather it’s a natural process that results in mutual agreement about what’s best for the client.”

The complete article, called “Stop Closing and Start Selling,” can be found in the February 2006 issue of The Guerrilla Consultant, available at

About The Guerrilla Consultant – a complementary, online newsletter dedicated to applying the principles of Guerrilla Marketing to the work and lives of professional consultants. Editor Michael W. McLaughlin is coauthor, with Jay Conrad Levinson, of the book Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants (Wiley, 2005). For more information, see