July 12, 2023

Test Driving The Relationship

For folks who sell long and expensive project engagements, it can be hard to close deals because there are dozens of risk factors that the client needs to consider when making their buying decision.

One approach that can help sidestep the complex web of unknowns lodged in the buyer’s mind is to start with a low-risk, fixed-scope preliminary engagement.

Something like a strategy workshop or a roadmapping engagement or a software architecture or an application prototype or a marketing plan or a positioning workshop or a sales deck or some other discrete preliminary step that would get the client moving toward their ultimate project goal.

If you’re not sure what to offer, think of whatever you would probably do in the first two or three weeks of a big project and break that off as a discreet offering.

Ideally, it would be fixed scope, fixed price and fixed duration because that will make it dramatically easier for the buyer to say yes.

If they do decide to work with you on the preliminary engagement, and they are delighted with the outcome, it will significantly de-risk the larger project in their minds and they’ll be more likely to agree to it.