L&D offers that sell

TSS #004: Beyond Services: L&D Offers That Sell

Jul 29, 2023

Read time: 3 minutes

Why do some L&D consultants struggle with bringing in sales?

They want sales, but they're not asking, “Why am I not bringing them in?”

With the L&D market projected to hit 1 trillion dollars, it’s worth asking.

In our eyes, the core problem is clear:

What we’re seeing is service providers lead with commoditized services.

In other words, they’re not positioning their offer to directly translate into business results.

Which is nuts…

given that the #1 focus area of L&D, according to Linkedin’s Workplace Learning Reports, is aligning learning programs to business goals.

But our industry, generally, doesn’t connect the dots.

Just look at these common provider value propositions:

If you comb through our industry, the messages all blend together with vague claims:

"Custom learning solutions for every business need."

"Design training that engages learners, meets learning objectives, and improves performance."

"Custom elearning development solutions to drive performance."

"Transform learning into engaging experiences."

This is all VERY commoditized.

L&D service providers are stuck in the gap

Most L&D messaging sells the “How” (the mechanics/process)

But clients don’t care about how you do it. They want their problem solved.

Think of it like this:

There’s a gap between the client’s current state (their problem state) and their desired end state.

You must position yourself and your offer as the key to that desired state.

But, what we’re seeing is L&D service providers focus only on the gap…

They’re selling the journey, not the destination!

This makes sales harder in a saturated market of generic “hows”.

But selling a desired state never gets saturated.

Don't sell tactics, sell futures

Common Mistake: Leading with a laundry list of services and tactics.

Better Approach: Create a signature offer oriented around specific business results.

You need a compelling offer that conveys the concrete results you deliver clients. Lead with the ROI, transformation and direct benefit you provide.

For example:

I help Non Profits update and simplify training resources for international staff using culturally and linguistically appropriate learning path design.

I help Educational Content Providers diversify their revenue streams in 60 days with a proprietary standards-based curriculum development and marketing system.

I help Tech Start-Ups say goodbye to clunky, piecemeal onboarding, stave off early turnover, and ramp-up new hires as quickly as possible.

I help Healthcare Providers increase health literacy and improve the likelihood patients perform self-care activities at home — saving millions per year in reduced ER and clinic visits.

I help Medtech Sales Teams land more contracts through remote, digitally-enabled customer interactions.

I help Frontline Staff recognize and assist trafficking victims through trauma-informed digital learning simulations.

These signature offers sell the destination, not just the journey.

The services you use are secondary. Whether you achieve results through e-learning, AI, or other means is irrelevant to the client. They only care about reaching the destination.

Let's break it down:

Step 1: Anchor your offer around desired outcomes

Position your offer as the key to helping your ideal client achieve their most desired business results. Sell the outcomes, not just the methods.

Step 2: Communicate your value proposition clearly

Summarize your offer in one compelling message. For example:

"I help manufacturing teams reduce defects by 60% through adaptive onboarding and training."

Step 3: Stay focused on delivering client outcomes

Keep your offer simple, result-driven, and centered on enabling success for your ideal client.

Step 4 Iterate based on real-world, market feedback

The market only pays for the exact end state they desire.

So keep shaping your offer around their needs through constant small iterations and improvements.

Treat it as an ever-evolving flywheel, not a one-time task.

So what are you waiting for?

Following these steps and position your services as THE solution to your client's top problems.

You’ll eventually become a monopoly of one, a strategic partner,… not just another vendor pitching commoditized tactics.


Your offer paints a picture of the end state you will help clients achieve.

Begin making it a beautiful landscape today!

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