Negotiating contracts, constantly writing up proposals, and inconsistent revenue is the regular woes of a consultant. After all, consulting is tailored to each client, right?
You can package consulting services to make life much easier for both you and clients.
This saves time, energy, and makes scaling much more predictable.
It’s easier said than done, though. A study we performed found that 10.3% of agencies struggle with adding services.
Want to learn how to make it a breeze? Continue reading.
Why you need to productize consulting
Let me first give you a glimpse into the many benefits you gain when consulting is productized. The upsides include:
- Predictable revenue: When you have to come up with a custom quote for each client, revenue moves with the wind. It isn’t predictable. However, when you know exactly how much you’re charging each client, customer lifetime value, cost per acquisition, and other key metrics are easily measured.
- Scaling simplified: With the previous point in mind, a consulting company can now scale more comfortably since it can accurately forecast growth.
- Easier to be acquired: Maybe you want to be acquired one day. Investors are interested in seeing a business generating consistent revenue in a predictable manner which is only achieved when services are productized.
- Improved client experience: Clients understand how much they are paying and what they are receiving, making their experience streamlined. This also reduces client churn.
- Time saved: Say goodbye to spending half a day writing up a proposal and customizing each quote for every lead. That time can be spent marketing, advertising, and nurturing relationships.
Next, let’s talk about the meat and potatoes of today’s article: how to productize consulting services.
1. Set clear deliverables
What do you offer in terms of consulting? What are clients trying to get out of the services?
The life of a consultant isn’t always sitting on Zoom calls all day. Many times you’re creating documents, strategies, processes, and alike.
If you’re going to package consulting services, you need to set very clear deliverables for this reason.
Your organization should know exactly what output is required and the client should know what to expect.
Here’s an example from the lead generation agency X27:
They clearly outline a marketing strategy document they offer, its deliverables, and how much it costs. No guessing games.
The agency takes the same approach for other services such as outreach.
You can replicate this by first determining what consulting services you want to bring to the market. Those with an existing consultancy can instantly skip to the second stip.
Then, brainstorm all of the individual components that make up each service like documents, analytics, scripts, and reviews. Include these on service pages, brochures, and other assets used to market services.
Finally, set a fair price for the amount of work involved and expected ROI. (More on that later!)
2. Make the results tangible
So, you consult. What does that mean?
You see, the problem with a lot of consultants is that they don’t make their results or services tangible.
McKinsey—arguably the world’s greatest consultancy—gives their associates a book they must study religiously called The McKinsey Way.
One of the main tenants in the book new associates of the firm must learn and practice is making consulting tangible. Clients need to know exactly what they’re getting, the ROI, the cost; the whole shebang.
This maximizes customer satisfaction and the ability to close more deals. Otherwise, consulting comes off ambiguous.
Let’s take a social media consultancy like this one for demonstration:
Sure, they help build social followings and educate companies on how to leverage online networks.
More importantly, they enhance brand equity, build trust with consumers, establish relationships, generate leads, create partnerships, and drive revenue.
See what I mean?
Consulting has to be packaged and marketed in a way where it describes the results in a concise manner.
3. Set pricing and make plans
Okay. You’ve determined what deliverables you’ll offer clients and what results look like.
What’s next? Time to set the pricing!
Remember, we want this to be easy. So, that means creating pricing tiers or setting per-project fees.
Keep in mind that more than half of consultants charge over $5,000 per project. Use that as a benchmark.
You want to use a per-project model for things like marketing strategies, training, phone consultations, or a three-pronged pricing tier.
This involves creating a low, middle, and high price point. Statistically, most will go for the middle, but it varies depending on a lead’s budget and requirements.
It looks like this:
The plans should offer increased amounts of output and deliverables as you move up the chain.
This also creates the unique opportunity to upsell clients later when they are satisfied with the services and wish to scale results.
Final thoughts on productized consulting
Whether you’re a veteran consultant looking to change business structure or adding consulting to an existing business, productizing is the way to go.
It improves your internal processes and offers clients a simpler and streamlined experience. You’ll never have to spend hours mocking up quotes and proposals.
Suddenly growth and revenue are more predictable because of this, as well.
The first step is to determine what you’re delivering. Is it strategy documents? Training? Map out all of the individual services you’ll bring to the market.
Then, you need to ensure that the results are tangible. What are the clients really getting out of the services? This might be revenue, leads, website traffic, etc.
Finally, set the pricing for the packaged services. Whether it’s a flat fee or several pricing tiers to maximize conversions, each approach has merit.
I recommend taking one last step to try Morphio today for free. Our marketing security software will secure your business by detecting marketing failures and profitable opportunities as you progress on client campaigns.