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- Michael Zipursky Consultant, Author, & CEO of ConsultingSuccess.com

Business Growth Around the World

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You’re good at what you do.

In fact, you’re one of the leading authorities in your region.

You know you should be getting more clients. And that your business shouldn’t be susceptible to ups and downs

Yet, for some reason, you’re not able to get that momentum in your business that you crave.

You know you should be getting more clients. And that your business shouldn’t be susceptible to ups and downs…because you’re tired of going from one project and then having a gap and scrambling to find the next.

Now imagine that you’re going through all of this half way around the world from your home country.

Howard Bryant is one of Asia’s leading retail consultants. Originally from London, Howard joined my coaching program to take his business to the next level.

You can hear how he’s doing it, and how the strategies he’s using work regardless of industry or country, in this short interview:

To learn more about the coaching program and how you too can land more clients and double your income, visit the Coaching for Consultants page.

Want More Consulting Clients Avoid This Marketing Mistake

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I spoke with a consultant the other day that had it all wrong.

It’s not his fault. Many people make the same mistake he did.

He was blown away when I told him that 95% of my clients spend very little on ‘marketing’. Many spend zero. The most effective forms of marketing don’t cost much.

And it was costing him dearly in lost clients and wasted money.

He shared with me all the different types of marketing he was trying. From Facebook Ads to Google Adwords, print advertisements, direct mail letters and postcards.

After spending several thousands of dollars and several months of his time – he had no new business or clients to show for it.

I told Barry that there was nothing wrong with the types of marketing he was doing. It was his approach.

He was shooting blindly at a target he couldn’t clearly see. When your approach to marketing is ‘spray and pray’ the results tend to be lackluster.

Instead, I suggested to Barry that he stop thinking about ‘marketing’ and start focusing on his ideal client.

I asked him:

1) Who is your ideal client?

2) What is it that they REALLY need/want that you can provide?

3) Where can you most effectively reach them?

4) What message will cause them to take the next step?

Barry and I then went through a process of breaking each one of these questions down.

Things started to become clear.

And that’s when the next problem for Barry came up. Continue Reading

Leading By Example

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It’s midweek and the sun is beaming in through your windows. The room where you work from is getting hotter every minute. Your friend calls and suggests you go out for a drink and enjoy the sunshine.

What do you do?

Just last week you added a note in your schedule book to pick up the phone and call 10 prospective clients to setup meetings. You know it’s what you need to do, but as the time to make the calls nears, you decide to work on your website and update your social media profiles.

Our integrity as consultants, leaders and business owners (even has human beings) is determined by how we treat others and ourselves.

You’re thinking this will help just as much. Will it really?

You signed up for a program to help you improve your skills so you can become more successful. You expected overnight success and it hasn’t come. You’ve decided to call it quits and tell your instructor that the ‘program isn’t a fit’.

Is that honestly the case, or is there another reason giving up?

You promise to send payment to your contractor. Except they haven’t been performing the way you’d like them to. It could be them, or it could be your failure to train and teach them. But now you’re finding a way to hold back sending the payment you promised them.

Do they deserve that? Does it even matter?

Our integrity as consultants, leaders and business owners (even has human beings) is determined by how we treat others and ourselves. Continue Reading

4 Points Consulting Clients Care Most About

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Your ideal consulting clients, the buyers of your services, don’t care about your methodology.

Fancy brochures with a colorful diagram mean nothing.

It’s not about YOU, it’s about THEM believing in you and trusting that you’re the right person to get them from A to B.

Presentation slides with process maps are futile.

Why? Because your clients don’t care about what you’re going to DO, they care about the RESULT.

They want to know:

  1. That you are an expert
  2. That you understand their specific situation
  3. That you will deliver the result promised
  4. That they can trust you

The more time you spend communicating your value and addressing each of these, the more likely they are to hire you.

The secret to make this work is asking the right questions. Continue Reading

Consulting Proposal Secrets and More Clients

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It’s not always about doing things right.

A consultant in my coaching program, we’ll call her Ms. S, emailed me to ask for feedback on two proposals she’d just sent out to clients.

It’s just one of the benefits you receive as part of the program.

As a consultant it’s critical that you make the right offer, use the right messaging and have the right pricing and structures.

This time, I didn’t have the best things to say…

The proposals weren’t structured the right way.

They started off talking too much about Ms. S’s firm and not enough about her buyers.

She was also missing several other key aspects of an effective proposal.

I gave her specific recommendations and gave her access to the Consulting Proposal Guide.

A few minutes later she emailed me back and said “Thanks for the feedback. I just closed one of the deals!”

She didn’t have time to make the changes I suggested and she still won the business. Continue Reading

Consulting Firm Owner Poll

Are you the owner of a consulting firm with staff?

(If you’re a solo consultant please disregard this post.)

Only if you have more than one staff on your team, please take 20 seconds (that’s all it takes) to share your feedback on a quick poll I’m doing below:

Fill out my online form.

How to Take Your Consulting Business to the Next Level

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The marathon runner averages 4 hours and 16 minutes.  They’ve run plus or minus that time for 2 years.

They want to finish under 4 hours at the next marathon and their goal is really to get under 3 hours.

There’s a reason all professional athletes and many of the most successful business people have coaches.

If they keep doing what they’ve been doing they’re not going to see any big improvements.

It’s the same in business…

Let’s say you’re making $8000/mo as a consultant. You want to get up to $20,000/mo.

How will you get there?

If that’s you (and your current income may be higher or lower) you’re going to have a hard time making that leap.

Why? Because currently you know how to run a business that makes $8k a month. You don’t know how to run a business that makes $20k a month. Continue Reading

4 Conditions You Must Meet for Clients to Buy

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How do you know if a prospective consulting client is ready to buy?

Andrew Sobel, in his book Power Questions, outlines four conditions that must be met in order for someone to be ready to buy your services.

The four conditions are:

1. Is there a problem or opportunity? These are the only two things that matter. Without a clear problem in mind or an opportunity to achieve a great result, a prospect will never buy. You must ask the right questions to determine if a problem or opportunity exists.

The consulting business comes down to relationships. A buyer won’t engage you because of your website or if you have a cool company name.

2. Does the person “own” the problem? This comes down to determining if the person you are speaking with is the real buyer? Do they have decision making and buying authority? Is this an issue that they are tasked with fixing? If not, you’re not talking with the right person.

3. Does the buyer have a healthy dissatisfaction with the current offering or the rate of improvement? Its one thing for a buyer to say they have a problem, they must also feel enough pain or discomfort in their current situation where they will commit to making a change. Continue Reading

The Straight-Line and How to Reach Your Goals Fast

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It’s impossible to reach your goal if you aren’t clear on what you really want.

Dusan Djukich’s book, Straight-Line Leadership, opens with a great illustration of how to be more productive and reach your goals fast.

If you want to reach your goals fast, figure out exactly what needs to happen, in the most direct and straight way.

He suggests that you start by identifying what your end goal is. Call it “Point B”. Then be clear about where you are right now, “Point A.”

Next figure out exactly what needs to happen between Point A and B to realize your goal.

Here it’s critical that you draw a straight-line, that the actions you take are direct and keep you on course.

All too often consultants plan their goals and quickly find themselves doing circles, nowhere closer to their goals then when they first set them.

A consultant I recently spoke with wondering why she wasn’t making the progress she wanted to.

“What is your goal, what do you want to accomplish?” I asked.

“Well, I’m working on my website and marketing materials. Then I’ll be ready to start marketing my services more” was her response. Continue Reading

To Be The Best, First Get Better

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Consultants often play the endless mind game of ‘know everything, know nothing’.

They start their careers by thinking they don’t know enough to be successful.

A year or two in and they think they know everything there is to know.

A simple excuse is to say that it costs money and that you don’t have an organization to fund this investment for you.

Today I want to talk about this second phase. If you’re aiming to the best in your industry or one of the best around then this is for you…

Top organizations across the globe invest in ensuring their leaders and employees have the best training.

Whether it’s bringing in speakers, trainers or consultants to share new perspectives and teach skills and approaches they are unfamiliar with.

The best of these organizations do this on a regular basis. They have annual programs to ensure that their ‘best’ keep getting better so the organization grows and prospers.

So why is it that many independent consultants feel that they know everything there is to know?

They get comfortable where they are by having enough clients to provide an income and some freedom.

Yet inside they want more. They know they should achieve greater success.

The question is, “how can they achieve that success if they aren’t prepared to improve their knowledge and skills?”

A simple excuse is to say that it costs money and that you don’t have an organization to fund this investment for you. Continue Reading