Hopefully you have seen the methodology we utilize at B2B CFO™ at http://gameplan.b2bcfo.com or read about it in my latest newsletter. This methodology allows us to provide highly targeted and cost-effective business solutions. But for now, let’s focus solely on the first and most important stage, The Discovery™.
Far too many business consultants, in my experience, provide “boiler-plate” or “canned” solutions to unsuspecting business owners. They are there to sell whatever it is that they have in their “tool box,” whether or not that is the appropriate solution for the business owner. Furthering the analogy, if the consultant has a “hammer,” then the business needs begin to look like a “nail” and the selling process begins. But how is B2B CFO™ any different? I’m proud to say that we truly are. Here’s why.
A B2B CFO™ will normally spend a day or more when visiting a potential client, all at no cost to the business owner, as part of The Discovery™ process. We take this time in order to clearly understand:
the company and its industry
• the aspiration of ownership
• the abilities of the staff
• the challenges, if any, that are preventing the company from reaching its potential and realizing ownership’s aspirations
Why do we do this? For the simple reason that we are not interested in providing canned solutions to business problems that don’t exist. That would be “selling” in the traditional sense. Instead, a B2B CFO™ engages in “integrity selling.” If you have not read Integrity Selling by Ron Willingham, you would be well-served in doing so. In his book, Willingham describes selling as a process whereby the seller does very little “selling” as we think of it. The process involves us asking a lot of open-ended questions and then carefully listening to the responses of the business owner and staff, all with the intent to clearly understand the business and determine needs.
Next is where the need for integrity comes in. If I look at the company and can’t determine clear needs or if I am not the right person to address such needs, I tell the business owner as much, and then try to introduce them to the appropriate person who could help. Conversely, if I determine that I can be of assistance, I tell them that as well, and then provide a no-cost, no-obligation proposal.
So The Discovery™ process is all about listening, which takes a little time, but is infinitely more productive than traditional “selling.” Once needs are determined, we take a step back and objectively assess what should be done and who should do it. Sometimes we can help. Sometimes we can’t. But either way, we give it to you straight.