Define strategy as a service: What consultants need to know
Strategy as a Service, often abbreviated as SaaS, is a business model where consultants offer strategic planning and implementation as a packaged service. It's like having a strategist on tap—clients can access your expertise and insights whenever they need them, without the overheads of full-time employment.
Selling strategy as a service involves more than just providing advice. It's about partnering with clients to understand their challenges, goals, and industry landscape, then crafting customized strategies that drive results. This approach enables you to bring value to your clients while also building a sustainable business model for yourself.
When you're selling strategy as a service, remember that your clients are not just buying a plan or roadmap. They're investing in a relationship with you as an expert, a trusted advisor who can help them navigate their business landscape and achieve their objectives. As noted in 6 Marketing Strategies for Independent Consultants and ..., building relationships is key to successful consulting.
There are a few key elements to consider when defining your strategy service:
- Your expertise: What are your areas of specialization? Your unique skills and knowledge are what set you apart from other consultants. It's not just about selling strategy—it's about selling your strategy.
- Client needs: Understanding the specific challenges and objectives of your clients is essential. This understanding allows you to tailor your strategy services to meet their unique needs.
- Value proposition: What benefits do clients gain from your strategy service? This could be anything from saving time and resources to gaining a competitive edge in their industry.
- Clear communication: Be clear about what your service includes and what outcomes clients can expect. Transparency builds trust and sets the stage for a successful working relationship.
Remember, as a consultant selling strategy as a service, you're not just a service provider—you're a strategic partner. Your goal is to empower your clients, helping them make informed decisions that propel their business forward.
Techniques to position your strategy as a service
Once you've defined your strategy service, the next step is positioning it in a way that appeals to your target clients. The world of consulting can be competitive, and how you position your service can make the difference between blending in and standing out. Let's explore some techniques to help you effectively position your strategy as a service.
- Understand your target audience: Before you can position your service, you need to understand who you're selling to. What are their needs and pain points? What are their goals? The more you understand your audience, the better you can tailor your service to meet their needs.
- Leverage your unique selling proposition (USP): What sets you apart from other consultants? Why should clients choose you over your competitors? Your USP is a crucial element of your positioning. It could be your expertise in a specific industry, your approach to strategy, or your proven track record of results.
- Highlight your value: As a strategy consultant, you're not just selling a service—you're selling value. Make sure to highlight the tangible benefits clients can expect from your service, such as improved efficiency, increased revenue, or a stronger competitive position.
- Build credibility: Clients are more likely to hire a consultant they trust. Build credibility by showcasing your expertise, sharing testimonials from satisfied clients, and providing high-quality content that demonstrates your knowledge and skills.
- Communicate clearly: Keep your messaging clear and concise. Avoid industry jargon or complex terms that might confuse potential clients. Instead, use simple, straightforward language that communicates the benefits of your service.
As 9 Effective Marketing Strategies for Consultants and Self ... points out, positioning is all about finding your niche and communicating your value to your target audience. It requires a deep understanding of your market and a clear definition of your value proposition.
Remember, positioning your strategy as a service is not a one-time task. It's an ongoing process that requires continuous refinement and adjustment. Stay attuned to your clients' needs, market trends, and competitive landscape, and adjust your positioning as needed. Your ability to adapt and evolve is what will keep you ahead of the competition and ensure your continued success in selling strategy as a service.
How to price your strategy service
Now that you're clear on positioning, let's talk about pricing. Your price not only determines your earnings but also signals the value of your service. Here are some tips on how to price your strategy service effectively:
- Evaluate your costs: Start by understanding your own costs. This includes direct costs like any tools or resources you use for your strategy service, and indirect costs like overheads, your time, and marketing expenses.
- Understand your value: What value do you deliver to your clients through your service? Pricing should reflect this value. If you're saving your clients time, increasing their revenue, or providing a unique solution, your price should communicate that.
- Research the market: Look at what other consultants with similar services are charging. While you don't have to match their prices, understanding the market can provide a useful benchmark.
- Choose a pricing model: There are several pricing models you might consider. This could be hourly rates, project-based fees, or value-based pricing. Each has its pros and cons, and the right choice depends on your service and your clients.
- Test and adjust: The perfect price point doesn't always come at the first try. Don't be afraid to adjust your prices based on client feedback and market response.
Pricing is an art, it's about finding the balance between what your service is worth and what your clients are willing to pay. But remember, don't undervalue your work. As How to Successfully Sell Consulting Services suggests, pricing should reflect the value you provide, not just the time you put into a project.
When it comes to selling strategy as a service, effective pricing is a critical step. It not only impacts your bottom line but also helps position your service in the market. So take your time, do your research, and be confident in the value you provide.
Case studies: Successful sales of strategy as a service
Reading about real-life examples can be incredibly insightful when you're trying to refine your own approach to selling strategy as a service. Let's take a look at a few case studies of consultants who found success in this area:
- The Agile Marketer: Meet Jane, an independent marketing consultant. She designed a unique agile marketing strategy service that helps clients rapidly test and refine their marketing efforts. Instead of selling this as a one-off project, Jane offered her service as a monthly subscription. This model provided her clients with ongoing value and generated a steady income stream for Jane. Her strategy was to highlight the cost savings and improved results her clients could achieve over time, rather than focusing on the initial price.
- The Productivity Expert: Then there's John, a productivity consultant. John sold his strategy service by clearly demonstrating the potential return on investment to his clients. He used data and client testimonials to show how his strategies could increase productivity by up to 20%. John's case serves as a great example of how to use solid proof to sell your strategy service.
- The Corporate Strategist: Finally, we have Lisa, a corporate strategy consultant. Lisa successfully sold her service by tailoring her approach to each client. She took the time to understand each client's unique challenges and goals, then developed a customized strategy service to meet those needs. Lisa's success underscores the importance of personalization when selling strategy as a service.
Learning from the success of others can provide valuable insights as you develop your own approach to selling strategy as a service. As How to Sell Yourself As A Consultant: 37 Ways To Present ... suggests, presenting your service effectively is key to successful sales. Remember, every client is unique, so it's important to adapt your sales approach to meet their specific needs and expectations.