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One of the most powerful breakthroughs you will have as a consultant is going from vendor to adviser.
This change is mostly one of perception.
You don't actually do much different.
But the impact it has on the fees you can charge and the respect you get is enormous.
You know people see you you as a vendor when they think of you as the doer of the thing you provide. If you build websites, they think of you as a web designer. If you provide SEO services, they think of you as an SEO guy. If you write copy, they think of you as a copywriter.
And you know you're stuck in vendor land when prospects come to you with requests like this:
"I need a new website built. It needs to be 10 pages and have all our company info on there. We need it done by next week. How much do you charge?"
The good news is you can change the perception a prospect has of you in an instant. Because the answers you give to questions like this are the reason you're either perceived as a low level vendor, or as a high paid adviser.
Wha do most consultants do?
They answer with a price.
Do this and you kiss goodbye your opportunity to differentiate yourself from the pack and show why you're worth more.
Smart consultants do something different.
They take control of the conversation.
How do you do that?
What if you asked a question like this instead..
"Thanks for reaching out, it sounds like a new company website is a high priority for you right now, if you don't mind I just have one question... can you tell me about why you believe a new website is going to give you the results you're after?"
And just like that the tables have turned.
Now the prospect is telling you about the RESULTS he wants to achieve. He will tell you about all the problems that have led to the need for a new website. He will tell you all the reasons why he thinks a new website is the answer.
You've positioned yourself as someone who is focused on outcomes.
You've established a level of authority by having the confidence to question his decision.
You've forced him to think.
And most important, you've changed the conversion from one of price to one of value.
If you want to stop being seen (and treated) like a vendor then you need to start acting like an adviser.