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  • Writer's pictureNick Klingensmith

3 Reasons NOT To Hire A Sales Consultant

Throughout my sales career, I focused on creating value for the customer by asking better questions. The value I create typically doesn’t simply come from a different service at a cheaper rate, but rather in the process changes I would recommend. For them to benefit from process efficiencies, automation and better decision making with real-time data, they would still have to implement the changes I suggest. If they don’t, then I failed to create any lasting value. Similarly, as a sales consultant, if my recommendations are not executed, I will only be remembered as an expense.

A good sales consultant should be good at selling you their ideas and inspiring you to take action. After all, it is the success of their ideas that they are banking on.

However, success is still predicated upon you taking decisive action. If you aren’t decisive about taking action, here are three reasons not to hire a sales consultant.

1. You still have to do the work

Just like hiring a personal trainer… or a nutritionist… or a psychiatrist… you’re still the one who has to do the work. Your trainer can’t work out for you and your nutritionist can’t stop you from eating sugar. A consultant will be able to identify gaps and areas of improvement in your training, process, leadership or execution. However, they aren’t going to be able to snap their fingers and simply watch the revenue increase. The most impactful recommendations will likely require work by you.

2. You already know the answer

You already know what is required. You’ve got tough decisions to make and you’re hoping that a consultant will tell you different. Sure, fresh eyes and external validation can be helpful. An objective opinion from outside can also be beneficial. Sometimes, you just need someone to tell you what you don't want to hear. But, if you’re hoping the consultant will save you from having to do something uncomfortable, just rip off the band-aid.

A consultant can help you to find the problems that you can't quite put your finger on and they can help you learn how to fix them. They may view problems differently and offer unique solutions to address them. What they can't do is help you to ignore them.

3. You’re surrounded by consultants

You’re surrounded by sales consultants and aren’t listening. Before you go spending money outside, direct that focus on those closest to the problem. It’s likely that you have not given them the same audience that you will a paid consultant, and it’s just as likely that they’ve done a poor job of communicating their thoughts.

However, would you expect to get the same value out of a consultant if you only listened to their recommendations in passing in the hallway or during their segment of a 15-minute meeting?

It’s your job as the leader to get your greatest minds to collaborate and get the best out of the consultants you already have at your disposal. Another benefit of first working internally with your team is that you will likely have more buy-in when uncomfortable changes do need to made. Ultimately, you will be further down the path for when you do decide to bring in a consultant. You will have a greater understanding of your problem, be far more invested in solving it and therefore much more likely to do so.

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