This week Hinge Marketing ran a webinar sharing part of their research, focusing on how buyers of consulting services have changed over the past two years.
They shared many interesting insights, but I'd like to highlight the following graph. It shows what are the top 5 methods buyers used to evaluate consulting firms, and how they have changed from 2020 to 2022.
Subject matter expertise has become the top selection criteria, followed by past performance and team skills. The importance of having a previous existing relationship had the biggest growth during the last years, and is now the most deciding factor that can "tip the scale" during competitive deals.
We can have a long discussion on each one of those evaluation methods, why they matter, and how firms are reacting to those buyer preferences. But what I suggest is for you to put this information into practice right now. Most of you lead boutique or solo practices - speed is one of our biggest advantages, so let's use it in our favor.
Those concerns are buying objections. But since they are evaluation methods (not selecting concerns), scoring low on them will get you rejected even before first contact. You won't have the possibility to address those concerns during sales conversations if they don't see enough value for their time.
What you can do, however, is to proactively address those evaluation criteria beforehand.
Take a look at your website, social media, and every marketing platform. Also check your offering description, marketing assets, service brochures. Ask yourself:
- Do I demonstrate a deep knowledge of my industry or SME?
- Can people find evidence of my past performance?
- Is there some way I can show my or my team's skills?
Doing so will improve your marketing effectiveness and lead flow.