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

How to Make More Consulting Sales: Lesson from a $3.4B Company

Making-Consulting-Sales

I recently spoke with someone a family member that works at a $3.4B company. That’s not market cap. $3.4 Billion in annual sales.

Can you guess what our conversation was about?

Consultants too often focus on perfection. They want all the stars to line up before taking action.

They told me all about how poor the systems and processes the company had in place were.

How their IT was slow and their department was filled with unskilled people lacking motivation.

There’s no denying that these are all problems, right?

Clearly this company can improve.

It Gets Interesting

BUT, here’s the most interesting part…the idea and lesson I’m excited to share with you today…

This company is still doing $3.4B in sales per year!

Even though it has plenty of room to improve it is still a very successful company.

Even though it isn’t perfect, it’s still employing and supporting thousands of people around the world.

Consultants too often focus on perfection.

They want all the stars to line up before taking action. Continue Reading

Time Management Tips for Consultants – Introducing the Pomodoro Technique

Pomodoro-Technique

It was mid afternoon, a rainy December day here in Vancouver and I was in my flow. I was working on design ideas and sketches for a new consulting website that our team is working on, and in the background I had a podcast by Jayson Gaignard playing.

When I design, I often listen to business podcasts as I find it a great way to learn new things and get inspired when designing and creating. (Note: I can’t listen or concentrate on podcasts if I’m emailing or doing any kind of writing, just doesn’t work for me.)

All you really need is a timer and your list of what you’re working on for each session. You can get some great free timers online.

Now if you’re like me you’re always on the lookout for ways to be productive and get more focused work done during your days. I’m a big believer that in a few hours of truly focused work you can get more done than most folks can in a typical 9-5 workday.

During this podcast Jayson mentioned getting solid work done through his Pomodoro sessions. I didn’t really know what he was talking about so I decided to dig deeper and do some of my own research into this.

What I found was really interesting – a time management method where you do focused work in 25 minute intervals called “Pomodoro” and then take short breaks, 5-15 minutes each time your Pomodoro ends.

As Wikipedia puts it “The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. These intervals are known as “pomodori”, the plural of the Italian word pomodoro for “tomato”. The method is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility.”

How to Get Started Using the Pomodoro Technique

The first thing you need to understand before you get started is that while you are working in a Pomodoro you can’t do anything else other than your chosen task for that session. Yes this means nothing else – no checking in on Facebook, emails, making or answering phone calls, brewing up a coffee, absolutely nothing other than what you decided you want to get in to. Continue Reading

Create Your Consulting Client Magnet

Client-Consulting-Magnet

The pool was cold today. At first that’s all I could think about.

Then I began to swim lap after lap and as always my mind began to go into deep focus.

Your marketing’s purpose isn’t only to attract your ideal clients. It’s also meant to repel clients that aren’t ideal.

By the time I finished my swim I decided to write this article for you. Yes YOU!

What I’m about to share with you is a story. A true story…

It’s one I’ve seen play out time and again.

It reminded me of how a magnet functions and it has everything to do with growing your business and attracting more clients.

Time to Dive In

Here we go…

The other day I received emails from readers of my consulting newsletter. Several of them wrote in with comments like “Michael, why do you send so many emails!” or “Too many emails!!”

That same day I got another bunch of emails with comments like “Thank you so much for these tips” and “I really found this helpful!”

What would you do in a situation like this?

I did what I’ve always done – continue doing what I always do. Continue Reading

3 Reasons Consultants Should Start Blogging Today

Blogging

Message from Michael Zipursky: I’m excited to have Sam Zipursky, my cousin and business partner share this article with you today. Sam plays an important role at Consulting Success. While much of his work has been ‘behind the scenes’ today that changes. Sam specializes in branding and design. It’s his work you’ve seen come to life through the ConsultingSuccess.com website and all our design and branding materials. Going forward Sam will be sharing tips, strategies and ideas for you on this blog to help increase creativity and maximize your online brand and presence.

It’s kind of like doing exercise, eating right, spending more time with our loved ones, and waking up early in the morning. We all know we should be doing these things and that they are good for our body, relationships, business, lifestyle, and health but getting into a habit and doing them consistently seems to be the tough part.

Learning is a great benefit that comes from blogging and it’s something most of us want to be doing everyday anyway so hey why not use blogging as one of your ways of learning and growing your knowledge.

For consultants getting into a routine of blogging isn’t any different – it’s great for business if you do it, but it needs to become a habit and it needs to get done!

Now if you’re reading this and already blogging on a regular basis, that’s amazing, you probably know the value and benefits of putting out quality content online and what it can do for your personal brand, your consulting business, your professional network, just to mention a few.

If you’re not blogging regularly about your consulting or business expertise now is a great time to begin and here are 3 great reasons you should pull up a chair, brew up some coffee and start blogging today:

Personal Branding & Getting Your Name Out to the World

By blogging about what you specialize in on a regular basis you become a known expert in that area. Take Michael for example (my cousin and business partner here at ConsultingSuccess.com). Mike’s been blogging on this site (and many other blogs) for several years now about his knowledge and experiences in the consulting trenches. He talks about marketing, dealing with clients, increasing fees, landing ideal clients, and so much more.

As a result of him making blogging a habit and constantly producing valuable content his expertise and name has really gotten out there. Many more opportunities have opened up, from international speaking engagements to podcast interviews to working with amazing high level clients in his coaching program. Many of these people found out about Michael through his blog posts and then got in touch with him that way.

The more quality and keyword rich content you put out there the more free traffic the search engines like Google will send your way.

You Get to Constantly Learn and Grow

Another great reason to blog consistently is you have to stay on top of your industry so you can keep dishing out relevant content that your readers will want to get into. You’ll need to read other industry blogs, read top business books, learn for other experts to see what they’re doing right and also perform research when writing some of your posts. Learning is a great benefit that comes from blogging and it’s something most of us want to be doing everyday anyway so hey why not use blogging as one of your ways of learning and growing your knowledge. Continue Reading

5 Keys to Increase Consulting Fees

Keys-To-Increase-Consulting-Fees

“I don’t have the money to hire another employee” said the caller on the other line.

I was speaking with a consulting firm owner from Jamaica.

Would you prefer to work with more clients making less per project? Or fewer clients paying you more? If you’re like most consultants you opted for the second option.

She told me how she’d been feeling stuck. Wanting to grow her business yet not having the resources available to feed that growth.

“Your issue isn’t just resources” I told her. “It’s that you’re not making enough per project.”

If she increased her consulting fees she’d be able to earn more with every project she takes on.

1. I’ll lose clients

This is the first concern she raised. And it’s a very common one. This belief however is unfounded. Charging more doesn’t mean you’ll lose clients. In fact, most consultants that take a strategic approach to increasing their fees don’t lose any clients.

Increasing your fees pushes away clients that aren’t ideal and attracts the right type of clients. I’ll share more about that in just a minute.

Would you prefer to work with more clients making less per project? Or fewer clients paying you more? If you’re like most consultants you opted for the second option.

2. Competition charges less

Another concern I hear all the time from consultants is that “my competition doesn’t charge that much.” And that’s the exact reason that you should.

Price is only one factor in the buying decision your ideal clients will go through. If you provide the exact same services and have the same approach as your competitors charging more will be tough. When you take a strategic approach that changes. Clients will ‘see’ a clear reason to choose you – even when you charge more. Continue Reading

Special Pricing Strategies Training: How to Increase Your Consulting Fees

Pricing-Strategies-Update

On January 29th I’m holding a special training on Pricing Strategies and How to Increase Your Consulting Fees.

What would 200% or 300% more income allow you to do? For your family, employees, loved ones and for yourself?

If you’d like to learn the latest strategies to maximize the value of every project you take on you’ll find this training a must attend. Register here

During the training I’ll cover:

  • The secret to earning a greater income each and every month without overwhelm or having to work more hours
  • How to come up with the right pricing that your client will accept without discounts or bargaining
  • How to confidently increase your consulting fees both with new and existing clients
  • The proven formula to fees based on the value you deliver
  • The pricing methods the most successful consultants use and how you can leverage them as well
  • How to use positioning to provide your clients with the best perception of you so you can charge more
  • How to setup and offer retainer arrangements with your clients for maximum results and income
  • The 3 stage pricing model that will allow you to earn 40%-50% more with every project – the results are backed by science
  • If you’d like to offer your clients coaching, you’ll learn how to price your coaching services effectively
  • Plus much more!

During the Pricing Strategies training you’ll also have an opportunity to ask your questions and have me answer them. Bring your toughest pricing and fee questions and I’ll give you answers and recommendations.

The fact is, the fastest way to grow your income and business is by increasing your fees and creating better offers. You’ll learn exactly how to do that during this training.

What I’ll be sharing during this training is what I teach my private coaching clients. They pay $6000-$20000 typically.

If you sign up this week you can join the Pricing Strategies training for only $425

Many of the consultants I’ve taught these strategies to have been able to double, even triple their fees and revenues.

What would 200% or 300% more income allow you to do? For your family, employees, loved ones and for yourself?

Register for the Pricing Strategies Online Training

PS. If you can’t make the live training I’ll send you a recording of the call and you’ll still have an opportunity to have your specific pricing question answered by me.

What to Do When Your Clients Got You Feeling Depressed

Depressed-Client

It happened about 10 years ago or so. I was walking through Umeda Station. Western Japan’s largest railway hub with more than 2.3 Million passengers daily.

It was late afternoon and my wife and I were going to enjoy a great night.

During dinner and later at the club my mind kept swinging back and forth between the conversation with my wife and the issue my client was having.

First a new Spanish restaurant and then drinks at a jazz club.

Just then my phone rang. It was Kaz, one of my top clients.

He had a problem and needed my help right away.

I told him I was out and would be in touch early the next day.

It Wasn’t That Easy

But I couldn’t get his call off my mind.

During dinner and later at the club my mind kept swinging back and forth between the conversation with my wife and the issue my client was having.

It ruined my night.

I couldn’t give my wife the full attention she deserved. I wasn’t present the way I wanted to be.

Here’s the thing, it wasn’t the first time this happened…

On several occasions I had client issues come up that completely swept my mind away.

That took me ‘out’ of whatever I was doing the moment a client called me.

Things Had to Change

This time I’d had enough.

I decided then and there something had to change. Continue Reading

4 Easy Tests to Run on Your Consulting Website

Consulting-Websites-Test-Image

Consultant websites aren’t the same as every other website.

Especially when it comes to testing…

Here’s the fact, most consultants don’t do any testing on their website.

And if you’re website isn’t getting any views there’s not much point running tests anyways.

But for this article let’s assume that your website is getting some traffic.

If you’re not taking note of these four things you’re missing a great opportunity.

Consultant Websites vs. Others

In terms of testing and tracking many of the resources online are way beyond what’s necessary for most consultants.

For example, while the below points are common to test for most websites they aren’t relevant for consultants:

  • Price – you shouldn’t be listing your fees on your website
  • Trial Length – consultants don’t offer trials – and certainly not free ones
  • Link and Text Color – while valid most consultant websites don’t receive the level of traffic needed to test ‘small changes’ like this
  • Login or Signup buttons – most consultant websites don’t include login or signup buttons

Get the point, right?

Most literature on this subject focuses on websites that sell products or services like software.

So what should you test on your website?

Here are four areas I encourage you to consider testing…

Get People to Take Action

Consulting-Websites-1

As you can see from the above screenshot, this test by performable showed a 21% increase in clicks when they changed the button color from green to red.

Don’t just think button color however…

Instead, consider changing the text or size of your buttons.

Consider their placement on your website? Are they above the fold? Can everyone see them easily?

Even more important for a call to action is that you’re providing the visitor with a reason to take action.

Consulting-Websites-2

Let’s take a look at the above screenshot. The call to action on the left is boring and offers no incentive to take action. The one on the right however clearly provides a reason for the visitor to take action.

Pop Up Effectiveness

Here’s a test that is often controversial. Having a pop up on your website. Continue Reading

How Consultants Added $4.63 Million in New Client Revenue Last Year

4-63-mil-photo

2014 was a landmark year for our clients and all of us at Consulting Success.

During the previous 12 months consultants in my coaching program won an additional $4.63 Million in new client business.

Many consultants doubled their business and several tripled their revenues in a matter of weeks, not years.

Here’s just small sampling of the results consultants have achieved in the program.

While I consider myself a quiet person – I’ve always preferred to let results speak for themselves over boasting or posting screenshots of Paypal accounts – I’m incredibly proud of the amazing consultants I’ve been working with and am very happy to share.

It’s a true honor and pleasure to serve such dedicated and smart people. You all motivate and inspire me. To be given the opportunity to work with you and help you take your success to the next level is what drives me.

No Need to Reinvent the Wheel

The recommendations and actions I ask consultants to take in the coaching program aren’t always easy. But the most worthwhile things we want to achieve in life rarely are. Continue Reading

Webinar for Certified Management Consultants Association on Specialization and Value Propositions Is Coming

CMC

On January 13, 2015 I’ll be providing a one hour online training webinar for the Certified Management Consultants of Canada. Anyone can join. Even if you’re not a CMC or located in Canada.

Just go here to register.

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

Continue Reading