Selling consulting services is an excellent way to generate revenue and cash flow, which you can later use to pivot into an agency model or re-invest in growing your consulting business.

If you know your skills and services are in demand but don't yet have a proven process for engaging with and selling to clients, this guide is for you.

We'll show you how to package your services, find qualified prospects, and build an outreach system that helps you have more conversations with qualified leads.

  1. How to Package and Sell Your Consulting Services

  2. How to Identify Your Prospective Consulting Clients

  3. Sourcing Contact Details for Your Consulting Prospects

  4. How to Use Cold Email to Engage with Your Consulting Prospects

  5. Best Practices for Your Consulting Sales Pitch

Let's dive in.

Who Is This Guide For?

In this article, the focus will be on people selling services related to marketing, advertising, lead generation, and other similar consulting services. Typically, you’ll charge clients a premium for access to your knowledge or for you to execute your services for them.

The main requirement is that your services require a high-touch sales approach to close clients.

The process and tips we’ll share can apply to a wide range of businesses, so even if you don’t think the above description fits your consulting business, there will still be takeaways you can apply to your own unique consulting services.

How to Package and Sell Your Consulting Services

There are various ways you can package your consulting services to sell them to clients.

The right model will depend on your service, client, and your own personal preference, but here are some popular options:

1. Pay-Per-Lead or Results-Based Can Be an Easy Sell

If you offer consulting services that can be directly tied to lead generation, such as advertising or outreach for your clients, then pay-per-lead is an attractive way to package it.

For example:

  • $350 per lead generated from your email campaigns

  • $50 per Facebook Ad lead form filled out

Models like this work well for sales and lead generation-related consulting services because they're results-driven. Clients will be happy to pay your fee, as you’re generating tangible benefits for their business.

2. Retainer Model for Predictable Revenue

Another option you can pitch to your potential client is a retainer model.

For example:

  • $3,000 per month to book 15-30 meetings with warm, qualified leads

  • $500 per month to deliver a list of 500 vetted cold prospects

The key benefit of a retainer model is that it's predictable and easy to understand. You can also easily forecast your revenue for upcoming calendar months.

However, if the services you offer don't fit either of these models, that doesn't matter. Test different consulting business models to identify the one that best works for your business, and works best for your clients.

How to Identify Your Prospective Consulting Clients

One of the main barriers to success for people selling consulting services is having a clear picture of who your ideal client is.

The first step is to narrow that down.

Here are some example criteria you can use to narrow down your ideal customer:

  • Industry: focus on the one you have domain expertise in.

  • Company size: find the type of company you can offer value to, whether it's Fortune 500s, bootstrapped startups, or local businesses.

  • Technology: do you have expertise in a particular software or tool, like CRM implementation or a particular CMS? You can then target companies based on whether they use them or not.

You should be able to clearly articulate what type of client you're targeting. You'll then be able to tailor your sales pitch and outreach emails to your specific customer type.

Sourcing Contact Details for Your Consulting Prospects

Once you know who your ideal client is, it's time to build a prospect list.

There are a variety of useful tools and processes you can use during your prospecting.

Here are some of the most effective:

1. BuiltWith: Find companies based on the web technologies they use. For example, if you sell to people using HubSpot or Shopify, you can use BuiltWith to quickly generate a list of all companies using that specific software, as well as combining it with other filters such as location, company size, and revenue.

2. UpLead: UpLead is a contact database with millions of prospects. You can set your search filters and the platform will show you a list of prospects that match them, complete with contact details such as an email address, and a direct dial phone number. You can then export the prospects into a spreadsheet or CRM, so it's easy to incorporate into your workflow. If you have a CRM integrated dialer, you can even make cold calls directly to the phone numbers you just sourced.

3. LinkedIn Sales Navigator: Identify all decision-makers at a target company and decide which one is the best fit to reach out to. You can create lead lists, export contacts, and even integrate LinkedIn with your CRM if you have a Sales Navigator subscription.

There are hundreds of other prospecting tools on the market, but these three will cover your bases, especially if you're just starting to sell your consulting services. BuiltWith is the most expensive of the three, but you can always pay for one month, build a large prospect list, then pause until you need to use it again.

Before using any contact data that you export from tools like BuiltWith or UpLead, make sure to verify emails using an email verification tool likeNeverBounce or Dropcontact.

These will check the validity of your emails and ensure you're not reaching out to invalid addresses that will bounce, hurting your overall email deliverability.

How to Use Cold Email to Engage with Your Consulting Prospects

The most effective way to have a conversation with prospective clients is using cold email. 

If you can identify the right decision-maker and reach out with a personalized and relevant email, you can start a conversation immediately. There won't be any need to wait for them to click on your ads, or fill out a contact form on your website.

Here’s a step-by-step process you can follow to engage with consulting clients using cold email.

1. Preparing Your Prospect List

The best way to get replies to your cold emails isn't to write a convincing email template. It's not to use the most expensive outreach software. It's not to trick your prospects into a reply.

It's building a high-quality prospect list, full of people who you can genuinely help.

Even if your cold email template doesn't hit the mark, a prospect who can tell that your services are something they're in need of is still going to want to reply.

First, you're going to need to build a list of prospects using tools like BuiltWith that we mentioned above.

Then, you'll need to format those into a structured prospect list using Google Sheets or Excel.

In your prospect sheet, add your contacts' first names, last names, company names, and any other details that you'll want to mention in your cold emails.

One particularly effective personalization technique is to write out a custom opening line for every prospect.

Every person you reach out to will instantly see that you've put in real effort to learn about them and their business. They'll be more likely to reply, and less likely to mark your emails as spam if they can see you've done real research.

2. Setting Up Your Cold Email Inbox

If you've never done cold outreach at scale before and then jump into a campaign sending hundreds of emails per day, or per week, ESPs like Gmail and Outlook will be suspicious. There's a high chance your inbox gets flagged for being a spammer, and your emails will never reach your prospect's primary inbox.

One of the best ways to ensure you avoid the spam filter is to warm up your cold email inbox for 1-4 weeks before sending any bulk email campaigns.

You can use the MailFlow's email warmup tool for this. — it's free to use and integrates natively with QuickMail, and once connected with your inbox, it will automatically send and reply to emails to other accounts using it's Auto Warmer.

If your emails land in Spam, they will be removed and replied to.

This sends positive engagement signals to Gmail and Outlook, making them trust your account more. You’ll be able to see how well your inbox is performing in the MailFlow Auto Warmer report.

When you're ready to start sending your campaigns to real prospects, email deliverability won't be a concern.

3. Writing Personalized Outreach Emails

Then, you'll need to write out your cold email campaigns.

You can use attributes inside QuickMail to personalize your emails as much as you need to, adding custom fields like:

  • First and Last names

  • Company name

  • Job titles

  • Unique opening lines

  • A custom P.S. note at the end

These will be filled using the fields from your spreadsheet, which means you can write a campaign once, including your attributes, and every email sent using them will be unique and personalized to the recipient.

When you’re writing your email templates, you can add your attributes and they’ll automatically be replaced by your matching spreadsheet column.

Here’s an example of what a good template could look like from our agency email templates guide:

It’s simple but shows clear research, is personalized and has a simple, easy to understand call-to-action.

4. Sending Emails and Automatically Following Up

The key benefit to automating this using a cold email tool like QuickMail is that you’ll save hours compared to sending emails out manually.

On top of that, you can automatically follow up with anyone that doesn’t reply to your opening email. 55% of email replies come from a follow-up email, so it’s vital that you send them.

They could be the difference between a campaign generating significant new business for you, or not.

In QuickMail, it’s easy to add follow-ups to your campaign.

After your initial email, add a new step and choose ‘Wait’. Add the number of days you want to wait before sending your follow-up. Typically, 2-4 days is a good amount.

After that, add a new email step.

In your follow-up, make sure to reiterate why you’re reaching out and highlight how you can help your prospect.

They may have completely missed your first email in their busy inbox, so adding context can ensure you do get a response if they’re interested.

There’s no set rule as to how many follow-ups you need to send, but typically, 4-6 is a good number. If you send more than that without a response, there’s a chance they’ve marked your emails as spam, and you risk hurting your email deliverability for other campaigns and prospects.

Best Practices for Your Consulting Sales Pitch

Your sales pitch is of utmost importance. As you're reaching out to cold prospects who don't know you, it needs to be straightforward and personalized if you expect to catch a busy decision-maker's attention. But, it also needs to convey the value of your offering and make the benefits clear.

Here are some ingredients you can include in your consulting sales pitch to ensure it resonates with your potential clients:

1. Use Social Proof to Increase Trust

In your sales pitch, show off your past results, and if you can, name-drop past clients. 

For example, a sentence like: “I recently helped [well-known company] book 25 meetings per month with qualified leads”.

 A single sentence like that in your sales pitch can add instant credibility and increase the confidence your prospect has in you.

When you have your first meeting with a prospect, you can show them the case study in more depth, and explain how you could help their company achieve similar results.

2. Make Next Steps Clear with a Simple Call-to-Action

If your sales pitch resonates with your prospect, they’ll be ready to take the next step and want to have a conversation with you.

However, it’s all too common for people sending cold emails to ignore the importance of your call-to-action (CTA).

A strong CTA is there to help your prospect reply and move things forwards.

Examples of CTAs you could end your cold email with are:

  • Do you have 15 minutes to talk this week?

  • Does that sound interesting to you?

  • Is this something you’re considering at {{}}

The key is to make your CTA simple to reply to and avoid asking your prospect to spend too much time on it. The faster you can start a conversation, the better.

3. Have a Clear Process for Qualifying Customers

No matter how much time you spend prospecting. there’s always a chance that you included a prospect in your outreach campaigns that won’t be a good fit.

When you get on a call with them you’ll learn about factors that make them a bad fit. It’s tempting to push forward with the sale anyway, but in the long run, you don’t want to be working with customers who aren’t a perfect fit for your services.

Be honest with prospective clients when they’re not a good fit. It’ll make your life easier, and will save them paying for a service that they won’t get the complete value from.

Decision-makers will appreciate the honesty, and if you’re lucky, the relationship could lead to future referrals or work.

Wrapping Up

Selling consulting services can be a lucrative and high-margin business — if you can deliver results for your clients.

The steps in this guide, from the tips on packaging your services, to identifying good-fit prospects, to sending personalized cold emails to engage with new potential clients, will help you go from zero to one, and by the end, you’ll be having conversations with prospects who are ready to become paying clients. 

If you’re ready to start using cold email in your consulting sales process, you can try out QuickMail with a free trial.