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Should You Scope a Consulting Project or Sell an Assessment?

A consultant raised the following concern to me:

You’ve advised selling an assessment project when it’s not immediately clear how much work a project might take. But I’m still not sure when I should sell an assessment project and when I should just help them figure out the scope as part of the process of winning an engagement.

Below is how I answered the consultant:

Ultimately, it’s a judgment call.

I sell clients an assessment if they need expertise to determine the next steps, or if they need expertise to determine the scope of the next step. If we can figure it out on the back of a napkin, or if they could Google their issue and figure out the scope, then obviously it’s not a sellable project. But when significant expertise is needed to figure out the next step, then sell that expertise – that’s the business we’re in.

What advice would you give this consultant? When do you diagnose what’s needed as part of scoping and when do you propose an assessment project?

You can see more discussion of this question by joining the Solo Consultant’s Network on LinkedIn.


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