April 28, 2017

“Do you have experience in our industry?”

You’re wrapping up a sales meeting with a potential client that you really want to work with.

Based on the conversation so far, you are confident that you can help them, even though you don’t have any previous experience in their industry. 

Then, the person across the table asks:

“Do you have experience in our industry?”


What would you say?

Most people would consider:

There’s a better way to handle this situation.

Just say:

“No, which is exactly why you need me.”

This genius answer (which I think I heard first from Alan Weiss) is truthful, thought provoking, and encourages conversation. 

Lots of people who are considering hiring outside consultants are doing so because they are looking for a fresh perspective. 

Sure, some percentage of clients will show you the door when they find out you don’t have experience in their industry.

But the majority of prospects will be reminded of the reason why they considered hiring an outside consultant in the first place, and your lack of industry experience will be repositioned as a benefit.