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

A Scary Reality of Business: Are you doing the “wrong things”?

Reality-of-Business

I was on a private call with Michael Gerber and a small group of entrepreneurs.

Michael Gerber, is the author of the E-Myth, and has more experience working with small businesses than almost anyone else on the planet.

On the call he shared an interesting statistic: “Fewer companies are started than go out of business each year.”

While they have the expertise between their ears to help their clients, they often have little to no plan on how to actually grow their business.

Untangle those words and what he was really saying is that the failure rate of businesses continues to be high, really high!

More importantly though than some statistic is the question of WHY?

Why do so many businesses continue to go out of business?

The answer Gerber shared is because people continue to do the wrong things.

They have this vague concept of what business is…

…they believe they know what they are getting into, yet they very often have no real plan.

I went on a 5km run recently and reflected on this.

What is very clear to me is that many consultants approach their consulting business the same way.

They take the knowledge they have and decide to turn that into a business.

While they have the expertise between their ears to help their clients, they often have little to no plan on how to actually grow their business. Continue Reading

The Perfect Meeting Agenda: How Consultants Make Meetings Productive

Make-Client-Meetings-More-Productive

Do you ever get nervous before going into a meeting?

Do you ever walk out of a meeting wondering if it ‘went well’ and if your client is happy?

If you want to make your client meetings productive, create an agenda.

Yes, it’s as simple as that.

To make the most of these meetings you should share the goal of the meeting with your client before the meeting.

Consultants who come prepared have productive meetings. Those that don’t, feel like they’re missing something (yes, it’s the agenda, they are missing : )

A meeting agenda is simply a plan of what you want to cover during the meeting to get the most out of it.

There are two main situations you’ll want to use a meeting agenda:

  1. Client meetings
  2. Sales meetings

Let’s start by looking at current client meetings.

To make the most of these meetings you should share the goal of the meeting with your client before the meeting.

When you do this you give the client an opportunity to agree with what you want to cover during the meeting. And if they don’t agree with anything or want to cover other topics they now have the chance to let you know.

This is IMPORTANT because it allows you to align your plan and goals with those of your clients’.

For the agenda structure here is the three-part agenda I recommend:

Part 1:
What have you accomplished? Review with your client what has been accomplished.

Clients love this because it confirms their investment in you is worthwhile. They see real progress. Continue Reading

Double Your Consulting Fees and Land a $49,500 Consulting Project In ONE Week

Double-Your-Consulting-Fees

One of my clients posted this success story…

I didn’t know they doubled their fees even before they joined our Accelerator Coaching Program for consultants.

And they did that as a result of reading one of my articles. That’s AWESOME!

I love working with clients who take MASSIVE action. This client is such a great example of this. A true trailblazer.

Here’s a screenshot from their message:
double consulting fees

Their pipeline is filling up with new opportunities and leads…

…they landed $49,500 from one client project within a week as a result of focusing on the right sales conversation and process.

And they have 5 more $45,000 proposals that ideal clients are eagerly waiting on.

Big things coming for this client? You bet!

I’m super excited for them.

If you run a consulting business and are ready to take it to the next level, let’s connect.

More details here on the Accelerator Coaching Program

Why The Results You See, Mirror Your Actions

Results-Actions

Dear Consultant,

Do you want clients to invest in you?

If you want to to have more clients invest in your services, start investing in your own business.

If your answer is YES, the next question to consider is, do you invest in yourself?

You’ve probably heard of the idea of leading by example.

Though you may KNOW about this idea, it doesn’t mean you’re LIVING it.

In fact, I continue to see consultants struggle in this area. Continue Reading

Landing a $450,000 Consulting Project

Landing-a-450000-Consulting-Project

The greatest success comes from consistently working towards your goals.

Taking the right actions without deviating from the plan.

Have you ever found yourself starting on a project or initiative only to deviate from it?

It’s time that you commit. It’s time to take some serious action.

Do you see yourself jumping from one shiny idea to the next and not seeing things through to completion?

It’s time that you commit. It’s time to take some serious action.

That’s why I’m so proud of this client. They continue to land bigger and bigger projects and grow their business. They are committed to the plan and their results show it.

They just landed a $450k consulting project and posted this into our Accelerator Coaching Program private group…
450k consulting project

Would you like to attract more clients and grow your revenue? If so, get in touch here

Web Training on Consulting Value Propositions for Chartered Management Institute

cmi
I’ll be providing a training for the Chartered Management Institute on Developing an Effective Value Proposition: How to stand out and attract your ideal consulting clients.

As a consultant the first step in effectively marketing your services is to get the attention of your ideal clients. To accomplish this, you need to position yourself as an expert and have an effective value proposition that communicates why your ideal client should work with you.

In this online session you’ll learn:

  • Uncover the myths of specialization and when to be a generalist (there’s a right and wrong time).
  • Case study examples of value propositions and marketing messaging (the good vs bad).
  • The proven formula to create an effective value proposition.
  • Discover the most important element of your value proposition (the one most people miss!)
  • How to test your marketing messaging attract more clients.
  • And much more.

Full details here: http://www.managers.org.uk/events-and-courses/2016/october/specialisation-secrets-and-value-propositions

Interview: Consulting Fees and Strategies for Premium Pricing

Not too long ago I was interviewed for the Local Biz Consultant Live Summit.

I was happy to share the virtual stage with other experts including Perry Marshall, Gina Schreck, Ryan Lee and Mike Filsaime.

I received the recording from the organizers and thought I’d share it with you below. The topic we covered was Consulting Fees and Strategies for Premium Pricing.

If you’d like to learn more about consulting fees see the Consulting Success System

5 Mindset Shifts to Go From Struggle to Success: A Consultant’s Guide

5-Mindset-Shifts-to-Go-from-Struggle-to-Success

Have you ever heard the tale of the Cobbler whose children have no shoes?

What about the doctor who preaches healthy living and takes a smoke break in between seeing patients?

Or the consultant who tells their clients how important it is to invest in improving their business, yet the consultant isn’t willing to make an investment into their own business?

When you’re working with a buyer and they tell you they don’t have the budget to invest, what should you do?

I find it interesting when consultants tell me they don’t have money to invest in their business or marketing.

Well, the experienced consultant will demonstrate to the buyer that by re-allocating resources (from one area to another) they can receive a greater benefit compared to where it is currently allocated.

And so I find it interesting when consultants tell me they don’t have money to invest in their business or marketing.

If you’re serious about growing your consulting practice here are 5 things I encourage you to keep in mind and that will serve you well:

1. If You’re Running a Business, Act Like It

There are costs associated with running a business. Don’t spend your time trying to minimize your costs, spend your time maximizing your revenues and profit.

People spend too much time trying to avoid spending money.

Any chance I get to spend money I will happily do so when I know the return on investment will be greater than the cost.

Again, recognize that if you’re spending too much time trying not to spend money, it means you’re not spending enough time trying to make money.

Any chance I get to spend money I will happily do so when I know the return on investment will be greater than the cost.

This is a major difference between successful consultants and those that struggle.

2. Take an Honest Inventory

How much money are you spending every month on your cell phone, eating out, clothes, your car, trips, etc?

It’s interesting that people won’t think twice about spending $1000+ on an all-inclusive vacation at a 3-4 star resort.

Nor will they give too much thought to spending a hundred dollars or more here or there on having drinks and dinners out each month. (This Gallup poll shows that the average American consumer spending is $86/day.)

Yet when it comes to investing in their own business they have to pause. They require days to make a decision. Continue Reading

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