Client Objection: Cheaper To Do It Internally

There's a reason why they're talking to you.

Since I get a lot of questions on how to address client objections, in the next few days I'll answer some of them publicly here.

Here's the first one, from a solo consultant that sells implementation:

On my last sales conversation my prospect started to debate whether he should hire me or a full-time employee. He said: "Everything you said sounds great, but at that fee I can just hire someone in-house and have them do it."

Ideally you want to address alternatives early on but this situation is simple to deal with. There's really only one way to reply here, and that is by asking the prospect:

"Why haven't you done that before?"

Hiring someone in-house is:

  • Costly: An employee can cost 2 to 3 times their salary. The company will also bear extra costs to fire the ones that fail to perform or adapt to their role.
  • Time-consuming: Finding strong candidates for the role, vetting and interviewing the few that qualify, and negotiating compensation take time.
  • Risky: Even when they have the budget, bringing in a full-time employee means increasing payroll and the chances of internal clashes. More importantly, though, is the risk of the employee failing to produce the desired outcomes - deep expertise is hard to find.

Debating whether they should hire you or someone in house is not an objection - it's a fake argument prospects bring to test you and gain frame control. Don't fall for this.

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