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  • MICHAEL ZIPURSKY
  • Coach to Elite Consultants
  • CEO of ConsultingSuccess.com

8 Ways to Create More Value for Clients and Become Irreplaceable

Create-More-Value-For-Consulting-Clients

As a consultant you want your clients to call upon you. To see you as their trusted resource and advisor. Yet here we are, in a day and age where there is more competition, more options, more distractions all reaching to get a piece of our clients’ attention.

What can you do about this?

Two things:
1) Create more value for clients and
2) Become irreplaceable.

In this article I’m going to share with you eight steps you can take to become and then remain the top resource and advisor to your clients.

The best way to understand clients better is to ask them deep and meaningful questions and let them talk. Truly listen to their responses.

1. Understand Them Better

How close are you listening? Are you really taking the time necessary to validate your thoughts about your clients? As consultants we often think we know what our clients want, what they are thinking, and so on.

Often, however, this isn’t the case. The best way to understand clients better is to ask them deep and meaningful questions and let them talk. Truly listen to their responses.

When we do this with enough clients we start to see what common threads our clients share. And what unique characteristics, wants and desires they each have. This is all valuable information that helps us to serve our clients better and become irreplaceable.

2. Serve Them Better

When you create mindset of serving your clients you’ll always have their interests in mind. This is a critical shift to make in your thinking.

Client relationships aren’t about a transaction, they are about serving, helping, and benefiting our client in all ways possible.

That doesn’t matter. What does matter is that when you know what they are working towards you can help them and support them to achieve that goal.

When you take this to heart and embrace it your interactions and actions with clients will change. You’ll be more focused on them and their needs. You’ll want to support them at a deeper level and find yourself becoming more committed to them.

Clients sense this shift. They see the change and they appreciate it.

3. Provide Better Experiences

Every business has great opportunity to provide its customers with more memorable experiences. What are you doing to create those unforgettable experiences?

This can be as simple as sending a hand-written card or a box of chocolates. It might mean you send them a hat or jersey of their favorite sports team. Or take them out to a show or a unique restaurant.

The more relevant content you put out the more your client will see you as the expert. You will maintain that top of mind position.

The list is endless. Any experience that is different, that your client likely won’t expect, yet will truly treasure and enjoy is an opportunity.

Another area experiences apply is in your communications. Do you respond quickly? Do you follow through on your word and do exactly what you say you are going to do? Because so many people don’t, it can become your advantage when you do. Continue Reading

5 Stages to Measure the Growth of Your Consulting Business

Growth-of-Your-Consulting-Business

As a kid I despised math. It wasn’t interesting and I never thought I’d really use it.

Why? Because at that point in my life the only thing I really could see myself becoming was a professional athlete.

You see, there are certain numbers that you should understand if you want to have a successful and thriving business.

After a month long trip to Thailand and Vietnam at the age of 15 I realized I couldn’t see myself continuing to train 6 days a week and living the athlete’s life.

Instead, I became much more interested in the arts, creativity and business.

Fast forward years later and I discovered that I actually liked math and numbers. Just a different kind…

What I call ‘Business Math.’

You see, there are certain numbers that you should understand if you want to have a successful and thriving business.

Things like your cost to acquire a customer, customer lifetime value, your margin, and so on.

I’m not going to go deeper into these in this article – if you’re interested let me know and we’ll cover them in an upcoming post.

Today I’m going to share with you the 5 stages that every consultant should be tracking in their business and how understanding the numbers connected to these stages can give you tremendous insight into how to improve and grow your business.

So let’s get right into it…

Here are the 5 stages every consultant should measure and keep track of:

  1. Outreach
  2. Follow ups
  3. Conversations
  4. Proposals
  5. Sales

I’m going to explain each one, why it’s important and what tracking it will tell you.

Outreach

This is the number of emails you send, calls you make, direct mail pieces you put in the mail, etc. Continue Reading

A Warning To Those Choosing Money Over Love

Money-Over-Love

I’ve had several conversations with business owners in the last few weeks and there’s a dangerous common theme that keeps coming up.

Both those who have ‘made it’ and run successful businesses as well as those just getting started are gambling with their most precious resource – their time.

It’s about creating a lifestyle that gives you the freedom (and time) to do what you want (by yourself or with loved ones) while making a positive and valuable impact on your clients, customers and community.

They choose to spend their time locked in their business. They tell me how they are doing it for their kids, for their family, to have more money.

Yet, they’re not playing smart, they’re playing with someone else’s rules, not their own which they can create.

If you’re spending a lot more time away from your loved ones because you think that’s the only way to provide for them – think again.

When the unexpected happens what will you tell yourself? Will you still believe your current story? Will it still have made sense to neglect the time you could have had with your family? Will the extra dollars in your bank account justify your choices? Or will you regret those dollars for the time they took away from you spending it with your loved ones?

I’m not suggesting that you don’t work hard. Hard work and a great commitment of time are requirements at certain stages of business.

But I do believe finding the right balance NOW is far better than waiting for SOMEDAY and the PERFECT FUTURE to occur.

Start doing now what you ultimately want to do later.

Have you ever heard someone approaching their final days say “I wish I had made more money in my bank account?” Isn’t it more common to hear “I wish I spent more time with my family?”, “I wish I loved and treasured my spouse or kids more?”, or “I wish I could have done these things with my family or friends.”

Why wish? Why put things off? Continue Reading

How to Achieve Your Goals Faster

If you want to achieve your goals faster, there’s a simple yet powerful action you can take.

It’s such a shame, because if you really are committed to success, if you really want to achieve your goals faster, then doing this one thing can almost assure, almost guarantee that you will do just that.

In fact it’s so simple that you may not even believe what I’m about to say – but I’m going to share it with you anyway, because it’s transformed my life and transformed so many of my clients’ lives as well.

How-To-Achieve-Goals-Faster

In this video I’m going to share with you something that is paramount – so fundamental – to the success of the most successful people. And yet I still see many, many, many people not doing it.

It’s such a shame, because if you really are committed to success, if you really want to achieve your goals faster, then doing this one thing can almost assure, almost guarantee that you will do just that.

Here it is. Drum roll please…

The secret is to write down your goals

Yeah, I know, right? It’s not earth-shattering. It’s not even something that you haven’t heard before, but let me ask you a very important question:

Are you doing it consistently?

Put them in writing

Are you writing down your goals and updating those goals and checking in on those goals each and every week? Each and every day? If you’re not, then you’re not getting the full potential, the full benefit that you could.

This is really the big difference that I see. There are a lot of people out there who understand the idea of goal setting. They understand the idea of making New Year’s resolutions. They understand the idea of creating plans, whether business plans, marketing plans, strategic plans, and then they do it. They go through that exercise but they do it as a one-time exercise.

The most successful and the most effective plans are really quite simple.

That right there is the problem. Goal setting, planning … If it’s done in isolation, if it’s done as a one-time event or even as a rare, once in a while occurrence, it will not generate the level of results that it can, because the most successful people are so focused on their goals. Continue Reading

Web Training: 5 Steps to Win More Consulting Clients

5-Ways-To-Win-More-Clients

Here’s the deal…

I’m going to run a fast-moving hold-no-punches web training next week.

There’s no cost and nothing to buy.

I’m going to share with you 5 steps and mindset shifts to help you win more clients and business.

If you want to grow your business in an ethical, sustainable and enjoyable way, register for the web training now.

Now, I know you’ve probably seen others ‘offering’ webinars or online trainings. They tell you there is nothing to buy, but half their content is about their product or service. Know what I mean?

Well, this isn’t one of those. I’m going to share about 20+ mins or so of fast-moving content with you. We’re going to start right at 3pm Pacific (6pm Eastern).

I value your time, because I know I value mine. So there’s not going to be any fluff in this web training.

Pure, simple and straight-to-the-point content.

I hope you’ll find that a refreshing idea 🙂

So join me: Register for the Web Training now

See you soon,
Michael Zipursky

PS. If you can’t join the live web training I suggest you register anyways. A replay isn’t currently planned, but if for some reason I do decide to offer one at least I’ll know that you’re interested in it.

How to Get More Engagement and Higher Open Rates With Email Marketing

Would you like to have more people open, engage and interact with your emails and newsletters? If so, check out this tip

Today I want to share with you a very simple step that you can take – you can call it trick, you can call it a secret, but really it’s just a step that you can take to get more people engaging and interacting with your emails and newsletters.

Higher-Engagement-And-Open-Rates

Regardless of which email service you are using, it could be MailChimp, AWeber, Infusionsoft, Active Campaign, it doesn’t really matter, almost all of them provide this functionality.

The step here to take is that once you’ve set up your email newsletter to go out, then what you can do is you can go in and you can replicate the campaign. Pretty much you’re creating a copy of that campaign.

Here’s what you do:

The set-up

For that second, for that duplicate, for that copy that you just made of that newsletter or that campaign that you’re going to be sending out, change the targeting.

Here’s the thing: people get inundated with emails. They might look at yours, and if the subject line doesn’t grab them or if they’re just too busy, they might just delete it.

Change the segment and the settings pertaining to who will receive it. You set it up so that it will only be sent to people who have not opened your previous email.

Here’s the thing: people get inundated with emails. They might look at yours, and if the subject line doesn’t grab them or if they’re just too busy, they might just delete it. They might put it into a different folder. For whatever reason, they just may not open it. Continue Reading

Billion Dollar Blue Collar Mindset and Marketing for Consultants

You’re a great consultant, you’re very good at what you do, but you don’t yet have enough clients.

Does that sound familiar?

Billion-dollar-mindset

I think about all the companies out there that are selling chains, rubber bands, even plastic components. They have revenues in the millions, multiple millions, even billions of dollars.

The first thing to realize is that, as a consultant, you’re not in the business of consulting.

How is that they are able to sell so much of their product or their service and yet there are so many consultants out there right now that are struggling to land more clients?

Adopt a marketer’s mindset

The first thing to realize is that, as a consultant, you’re not in the business of consulting. You really are in the business of marketing and building relationships with buyers of your services, with your ideal clients.

That’s a really important realization for you to make, because the sooner that you recognize that, the sooner that you’ll see the importance that marketing plays in your business. Continue Reading

The Power of Being Decisive: Why Going For It Always Makes Sense

Power-of-Being-Decisive

When has over-thinking a decision worked out well for you? A research report published by Psychological Science called “When High-Powered People Fail” suggests that overthinking a decision and being indecisive does more harm than good and actually reduces your productivity.

Each time you go to make a decision and back away from it (and repeat this process over and over) it takes a toll on you. Your mind gets tired and then your body follows.

This is interesting because we tend to know what we want initially. We can feel that something is right, that we know the correct decision, but then all of a sudden we create reasons to doubt ourselves.

“What if we make the wrong decision?”

“What will people think of me?”

“Is that really the best?”

“Maybe I can find a better deal somewhere else?”

These are just a few of the questions we tend to ask ourselves that lead to indecision and a feeling of overwhelm.

Indecision Creates Fatigue

A study by the National Academy of Science demonstrated that the more decisions we face, and as a result the more indecisive we are, the more likely we are to feel tired and overwhelmed.

Each time you go to make a decision and back away from it (and repeat this process over and over) it takes a toll on you. Your mind gets tired and then your body follows.

Which Type Are You?

There are two types of people when it comes to making decisions:

Maximizers – the maximizer wants to make the optimal decision. They want things to be perfect. For all the signs and stars to line up. Even when they find an answer or solution to their problem, they hold off making a decision. Instead, they want to see all the possible options that exist before committing.

Satisficers – termed by the economist Herbert Simon in 1956, Satisficers refers to people who take action and make a decision once they find what they want. They set a criteria that they want to see, and as soon as the solution they find meets those criteria they move forward and make their decision. They don’t second guess. They don’t need to see all of the possible options. They seek, they find, they act. Continue Reading

How to Achieve Anything You Want In Business and Life

Achieve-Anything-You-Want

You CAN do anything.

You’ve probably heard that before.

Our focus is on serving our clients and helping them to get results. That doesn’t require that we sit right in front of them.

The funny thing is that while many people dismiss this simple idea, it’s so TRUE.

I’m sitting in my office in Japan as I write this.

I’m here for three months.
zengarden

They Thought I Was Crazy

I had a lot of people think I’m crazy to ‘go away’ for three months.

“What about your business?” they said.

Or “You’re so lucky”, as if luck has anything to do with it.

The receptionist at the massage lounge I visit asked if I was ‘retired’. “How can you go to Japan for that long…you must have a nice boss?!” Well, thank you, I think I’m pretty nice myself.

Here’s what most people miss…

Overnight Success? Yeah Right…

This didn’t happen overnight.

I didn’t wake up one day and pack my bags and tell my wife and daughter we were going to Japan for 3 months.

This was planned well in advance.

My wife is from Japan. She’s on maternity leave and I thought it would be a great opportunity for everyone to meet our daughter Rei and for her to spend more time visiting with her family and friends. Continue Reading

The “MOST” Powerful Success Principle “Ever”

Success-Principle-Powerful

I stretched both my legs out. Took a deep breath and ran past the houses before reaching the main road.

The street was empty. I could hear a whirring sound in the distance, probably from the highway in the distance. But the birds were chirping all around me.

All the recommendations, best practices, books, and podcasts preaching the BEST way to do something often don’t tell you the MOST important part – just because they have found one way is best for them, doesn’t mean it’s best for you.

As I reached the intersection I saw a few kids in uniforms heading to an early morning sports practice.

It was a few minutes before 6am. I kept running and soon reached the river.

I took a quick right turn to get off the road. Running on the dirt path felt so much better than on concrete.

To my left the river. To my right Japanese rice fields and fruit trees.

I couldn’t help but think how easy it would have been to stay in bed “just a few minutes longer.”

I’m sure you’ve had that feeling, right?
japanrunning

Could They All Be Wrong?

But sleeping in a bit isn’t good for you, they say. At least that’s what all the ‘best-practice’ articles are saying…that the only way to succeed is to get up early.

Or to write in a journal in the morning. Or to ________ (you fill in the blank).

Are they wrong? No.

Could all those articles and books possibly be giving us the wrong information? Yes and no.

Here’s the reality. There is no right or wrong.

If you want to stay in a bed a bit longer, go ahead.

We can toss around blame and play the game. But when we are honest with ourselves there is only one person that can take responsibility for our happiness and success – and that my friend, is ourselves.

If you want to get up at the crack of dawn to get more done, power to you.

All the recommendations, best practices, books, and podcasts preaching the BEST way to do something often don’t tell you the MOST important part – just because they have found one way is best for them, doesn’t mean it’s best for you. Continue Reading