This is Part 1 of a seven-part series in which I show you how to win more follow-on and pull-through business by consulting at the “enterprise” level. In each article (other than this one), I discuss how to adapt one of the “Six Pillars of Consulting Success” from winning individual projects to winning an ongoing string of lucrative projects.
Let’s start with a story about a restaurateur named Raffaele Gallo. This isn’t based on a true story. It is a true story. In fact, here’s a drawing of Raffaele.
Years ago, when I was new in town, I stopped into Raffaele’s restaurant. Yummy! I brought my family the next time. Universal consensus: 1) Scrumtialicious, 2) Raffaele’s nice (he had stopped by the table to say hello). Fast forward to a big, family event with many guests. Where should we hold it? Raffaele’s restaurant. When a civic organization I belong to needed catering, whom did I recommend? Raffaele.
Is Raffaele’s place the best food in town? No. The #1 rated restaurant in Connecticut is less than a mile away. Is it the least expensive? The best value? The only Italian place? No, no, no.
Yet, Raffaele masterfully converted my single meal 15 years ago (one win) into a large, ongoing stream of business with my family, friends and associates (ongoing, enterprise win). And his story with me isn’t unique, which is why Raffaele recently opened his third restaurant.
The rest of this series of articles is about how you can accomplish the same results with your consulting clients. Graduate from one-and-done projects with a single buyer to a steady stream of initiatives from decision-makers across the client organization.
For example, we’ll explore how a single project from a long-time contact blossomed into requests for $875k of work over the past 3 years, even after my original contact left the client.
Let’s go back to Raffaele and me. When I ate dinner at Raffaele’s, we happily exchanged some cash for a delectable meal. But that was only one meal of three I ate that day. One of 21 I ate that week, or roughly 90 I ate that month. When you factor in my family’s meals, that was one of 360.
Plus, since I have friends with whom I dine frequently, that dinner at his restaurant was like one pine nut in a whole pesto bowl of opportunity.
The whole pesto bowl is what I call Total Customer Value Opportunity. It’s thinking beyond the immediate sale and buyer. For you and me, it’s all the dollars a single company could spend on any consultant over, say, the next three years.
That pine nut—the one meal I ate at Raffaele’s place—is the Total Captured Customer Value, or TCV. It’s the consulting work you or an associate of yours actually wins from the company.
Your job is to maximize TCV
Eat the most pesto. At every client. That’s how you end up fat (financially speaking).
There are three ways to increase TCV:
- Breadth – Sell to more decision makers inside the client.
- Depth – Win more projects from your current decision maker.
- Duration – Win more projects over time. (i.e., Breadth and Depth, over and over.).
How do you increase breadth, depth and duration at a client? Fortunately, you already have a model for winning consulting business. It’s called the Six Pillars of Consulting Success.
Every time you win a consulting gig, those six pillars are in place. Whether it’s follow-on work, pull-through business or a totally new client, you seal the deal when all six pillars stand strong and you lose when any pillar crumbles.
Now expand that thinking from the individual decision-maker to the organization level. It’s Raffaele transcending the effort to get me into the restaurant for the first time and thinking about my whole family, my circle of friends and all our eating occasions.
In the next six articles, I’ll explain how to adapt each pillar from the project level to the enterprise level so you can maximize your TCV. Grab a bowl of pasta, and let’s dig in.
Text and images are © 2022 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.