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Winning the Professional Services Sale: Unconventional Strategies to Reach More Clients, Land Profitable Work, and Maintain Your Sanity

Winning the Professional Services Sale: Unconventional Strategies to Reach More Clients, Land Profitable Work, and Maintain Your Sanity [Kindle Edition]

Michael W. McLaughlin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

An innovative approach to winning more profitable sales in the growing professional services industry

In recent years, professional services providers have had to rethink their sales methods and adapt to profound changes in the way clients buy services. In response, Winning the Professional Services Sale argues for fundamental changes in the seller's mindset and sales strategies. Rather than pressing the sale, salespeople must help clients buy--the way that works best for each client. This new approach gives buyers what they now want in a services seller: a consultative problem solver, change agent, and solution integrator, all rolled into one. Author Michael McLaughlin presents a strategy for winning new business with a holistic approach to each client relationship. Only by fully understanding a sale from every angle, including its impact on the client's business and career, can salespeople thrive in the new era of the service economy.

From the Inside Flap

In recent years, professional services providers have had to rethink their sales strategies because so many of their tried–and–true approaches no longer work. Clients ask tougher questions and demand better answers. They expect to guide the sales process, and they insist that services providers customize proposals and presentations down to the last detail. They won′t tolerate false sincerity, artificial deadlines, and preprogrammed sales strategies. Instead, clients want more certainty about potential results before they commit their resources. Being a good salesperson is no longer enough. You must draw clients to you with your ideas, rather than chase them with outdated sales tactics. You must also identify clients′ real problems, persuasively advocate for change, and effectively manage complex sales. Whether your company sells business services or legal advice, outsourcing solutions, or management consulting, Winning the Professional Services Sale is the ideal guide for anyone who wants to close more profitable sales on a consistent basis. It presents a flexible, dynamic sales framework that suits the needs of the most demanding clients. It′s an effective way to organize a client–specific strategy that leads to the sales you want—no matter what services you sell or who you sell them to. Once you master Michael McLaughlin′s innovative sales strategies, you′ll learn to connect with clients, collaborate on fulfilling their needs, and commit to getting the job done. Rather than a salesperson, you′ll become a business partner. Because of the strength of your ideas and the depth of your relationships, you′ll be the first one who comes to mind when your clients need help. In today′s professional services sales, your interests and those of your clients are inseparable. Now more than ever, your clients are the ones calling the shots. With Winning the Professional Services Sale, you′ll learn to give them exactly what they want—and take your business to profitable new heights.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 784 KB
  • Print Length: 228 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470455853
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (6 Aug 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002MZUQ8M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #263,166 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book on Selling and Relationships 6 April 2011
By Chris Downing TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One of the few books that deals with selling and the role of the relationship to results. Goes very well with Trust Based Selling by Charles Green Trust-Based Selling: Using Customer Focus and Collaboration to Build Long-Term Relationships I also think if you want a complete library on high level business selling as it is practiced now you need to read The New Strategic Selling: The Unique Sales System Proven Successful by the World's Best Companies (Miller Heiman Series) which is a sales classic (been around 25 years) and SPIN, the workshop book that tells you everything you'd work on during a SPIN course (a great way to save money and time by avoiding attending a course during your working day when you could have been selling!) The SPIN Selling Fieldbook: Practical Tools, Methods, Exercises and Resources
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timely book for a tough market 7 Sep 2009
Professional services firms - like their clients - are undergoing an immense amount of change; nowhere more so than in the way they market and sell their services. Selling the services they have is no longer a viable strategy; they need instead to facilitate the buying process, develop ideas and demonstrate the value they add. These are all points covered by Michael McLaughlin in his excellent book. Built around a simple but effective framework, "Winning the Professional Services Sale" offers many insights and ideas. A must-read for anyone responsible for developing a professional services business.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy read that teaches you a lot 7 Sep 2009
By M. Rosenthal - Published on
I picked this book up to read on a flight home. I have been consulting for over 30 years and quickly found this to be one of the most insightful books written about selling consulting services. I usually skim a book's introduction, but I read this one twice... it lays out a precise framework that McLaughlin will then build around in the rest of the book. His basic Connect - Collaborate - Commit framework succinctly nails how the nature of professional services sales has changed. He consistently takes conventional wisdom and changes how you think about it. The value of this book is how McLaughlin gets you clearly focused on not only what is important, but how to do each step.

Even if you don't immediately read the entire book, each "Sanity Check" tip box is worth reading as soon as you get a copy. These are practical, immediately implementable tips that will quickly improve how you interact with your potential clients. Kudos to Michael McLaughlin for a great business book that cuts through the jargon and gives you perspectives that you can actually apply.

P.S. You also have to love anyone who can paraphrase a Ricky Ricardo / Lucille Ball quote and work it into a business book (page 36)!
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't cut through the clutter and get to the meat 19 Mar 2010
By Susanna Hutcheson - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book argues that times have changed and the prospective client must be dealt with differently. That's true. Using the old presumptive close, for example, no longer works nor should it be attempted. However, I found the book lacked a good deal that actually goes into dealing with prospective clients. And, in some areas, it was just wrong. The part on negotiating, for example --- a good service seller does not cut price without cutting deliverables. That's not the position the book takes.

I have yet to find a book as useful as Harry Beckwith's "Selling the Invisible." I wish I could find one but so far my search is illusive.

However, if you've not read anything on this subject and want to get your feet wet, it can't hurt.

- Susanna K. Hutcheson
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting new clients is more complicated than it used to be 10 Dec 2009
By John Gibbs - Published on
"If there ever was a time when professional services sellers needed new strategies and tools, this is it." So says Michael McLaughlin in this book. He says that today's services sellers must be active in the market, offering ideas and solutions that generate client demand, and then they must be able to put together a winning sales strategy to satisfy that demand.

The book provides a detailed analysis of the sequence of events involved in a successful strategy for selling professional services. The sales process is no longer a matter of the seller just presenting its credentials; the seller must now attempt to gain strategic insights into any problem which the client may be facing, and craft a customised solution which provides a demonstrable and measurable advantage to the client.

Most professional services providers have been trained in how to provide their particular professional service; they have not been trained in how to undertake a strategic assessment of a client's business and come up with ideas that add quantifiable value. Accordingly, selling their services is intimidating for them. This book provides a very helpful step-by-step guide to success in the professional services sales process.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview 21 May 2010
By Business Reader - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My expectations were low when I purchased the book, but I was pleasantly surprised and used my highlighter far more than expected. I've spent the last 15 years in professional services sales, and this book crystalized the PS sales process. Every professional services person--from sales to associate--should read this book. Now so you'll know this isn't a totally puff review, my only criticism is that some topics were discussed rather lightly. After reading this book, you won't suddenly become a professional services sales guru, but you will be better than most. Consider this book not a 50,000-ft look at professional services sales, but more like a 20,000-ft look.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shows how to succeed by making your clients successful 4 Oct 2009
By Merrill Clark - Published on
As I first started reading, I got the impression this book was written primarily for service providers dealing with big, corporate type clients. I was bummed out, since I'm a small firm dealing with small to midsize businesses and didn't think the book would help me.

However, as I continued to read further, I discovered a practical goldmine of valuable and actionable information regarding dealing with decision makers and buyers of all size companies, a section on how to write winning sales proposals, and how to deal with your clients after you make the sale.

Bottom line: Buy it! This book will be valuable to any service providers that need to sell there solutions to businesses of all sizes, from 1 man shops to big corporations.
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Popular Highlights

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What sets service providers apart from other sellers is that they are first and foremost idea merchants. &quote;
Highlighted by 77 Kindle users
Most clients in the market for a service provider want to see two capabilities immediately. First, that you have relevant subject-matter expertise, and then that you, or your company, have the ability to handle their problem. &quote;
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They demand insight, not sales technique, and problem solvers, not vendors. &quote;
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