How Do You Productize a Consulting Call?

Maybe you’re in this common scenario: you sell custom services as a consultant and the initial calls are part of the sales process for you. You take them for free, or you take them for a fee, but you’d like to see how you could switch that around: make the consulting call a specific package to buy.

But to start, I’ll point to a few articles that we’ll build on:

Make Sure It Addresses a Hard Struggle

The opposite of a catch-all call that’s free or sold for an hourly rate: a consulting call that’s sold to address a very specific struggle.

So here are some struggles that can make it worth the visitor’s time to purchase that consulting call.

  • ⚬→ When I’ve tried to do it on my own for long enough…
  • ⚬→ When I’ve done it by myself unsuccessfully for 3 attempts…
  • ⚬→ When I’m pressed for time…
  • ⚬→ When I’m sure I want your help, but I’m not going to buy a big package before testing the relationship…
  • ⚬→ When I need to convince a higher up that we have a way forward with you, but a lot is at stake and he wants an introduction…

But as we’ve seen in other articles, the struggle is only what gets someone moving. It’s only one of the Four Forces of Progress, pushing the person toward taking action.

The one force you can’t ignore, especially for an expensive consulting call, is the force pulling back to this common default position: “I’ll just continue doing it myself”.

Make Sure It Competes With Your Own Options

Since you know that this consulting call will be competing against the “I’ll just continue doing it myself” fallback, you want to make sure that you still help the visitor with that alternative.

The best two ways to do that:

  1. Make your consulting call be the fallback option for another, bigger option;
  2. Help those figure out how to do continue doing it themselves.

That means that your consulting call has to be one of the rungs in a value-ladder.

A Value-Ladder With Your Consulting Call

A value-ladder offers options to a visitor so that they can choose the level at which they can move forward for their problem. They pick the package that fits their point in their journey.

  • Top package: an all-out custom engagement. No fixed price, no fixed length. Contact us to start.
  • Middle package: a one-off smaller engagement. Fixed price, fixed length. Apply here.
  • Bottom package: a consulting call. Fixed price, fixed length. Tell us about your situation.
  • Catching “I’ll just do it myself” option: Here’s a free guide and here’s a collection of articles so you can learn to do it on your own.

In this case, the consulting call fits within competing options that you offer. They’re already on your site, looking at your material.

If they hesitate to set up that consulting call, they’ll have other places to go on your own site to help with their discernment. They’ll go up, or they’ll go down. And they’ll bounce around your site while they think that through.

A Trip Through Your Site

They’ll likely take a tortuous road through your site, as they discern what to do to make progress on their problem:

  1. Come in through an article;
  2. Click to another article;
  3. Click to your guide;
  4. Realize that that’s a lot to learn, leave the site;
  5. Come back a few days later with a goal to learn more;
  6. Look at your services page;
  7. Consider the one-off engagement;
  8. At the bottom of the page of your one-off engagement package, they see the option to schedule a consulting call instead;
  9. See that it’s an expensive call;
  10. Read a little further into your free guide;
  11. They make the case internally to have the call with you, to test the waters with you under the veil of getting your interpretation of their specific problem.

A List of Anxieties (to Address)

With that in mind, you realize that the price is just one of the anxieties of having a call with you…

  • ←⚬ I’m not sure if I’ll be able to translate what I’m going through in terms they’ll really understand;
  • ←⚬ I’m hesitating about the fact that I might not understand the technical bits they’ll be talking about when describing their solution;
  • ←⚬ I’m not prepared for them to upsell me with things I don’t need;
  • ←⚬ I’m not sure we’ll be able to communicate effectively, when working together;
  • ←⚬ I’m not sure they have the experience with my own situation;
  • ←⚬ I don’t know if we’ll find a time today or tomorrow that’ll fit both our schedules;
  • ←⚬ I don’t know that the answers we’ll get will be worth the price;

Those seem like pretty legitimate anxieties about booking that expensive consulting call with you.

But you can make your page selling that consulting call address each one. You can point to articles you wrote, be up front about your availability, re-assure about the types of situations you can help out with and offer a way to wave the price of the call if they go with a bigger engagement with you.

Selling a consulting call is a great option to add to a value-ladder, and a value-ladder is a great way to help sell a consulting call in the context of the do-it-yourself option and the other packages that you offer. It’s a way for them to contact you, and it forces them to pick another package that might just do the trick.

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