Your best clients will also provide you with the best consulting referrals.
Many consultants report that referrals are their most effective marketing strategy.
The problem is, they typically don’t have any real ‘strategy’ in place working for them.
When you go through this process you will quickly learn which of your clients are your best and most likely to refer your more business.
They rely on referrals to build their business.
Which means their client list grows when they get referrals. And their business stagnates when they don’t.
That’s not a good place to be in as a consultant.
Here’s how to fix it…
You need to answer this question: “Who are your best clients?”
When you know who they are, you can also figure out who your ideal clients would be to work with going forward.
And you can then focus your marketing efforts on those people.
To help you answer the big question of who are your best clients, consider the following 4 criteria:
- Type of Work – what type of work will you be doing for the client? Is it work that you can be profitable on? Will it require a great deal of time and labor on your part? Will you have to hire others to assist you? You want to look for the type of work you do with clients that is most profitable and enjoyable.
- Credibility – I remember the first day I consulted for Panasonic. Then it was the Financial Times. The Royal Bank of Canada… and the list goes on. When you take on a client that has an established brand it adds huge credibility to you as a consultant. Definitely something you want to consider.
- Income - What is your income potential with the client? Is the client project going to be a small scale work or will you be able to generate significant compensation for the value you deliver? This is an important consideration. Because you’ll often find that your client will refer you to someone of the same caliber as them.
- Openness – How likely is the client to allow you to use them as a case study? Will they provide a testimonial for you? Can you even mention their name? And based on all of that will they refer you to others? You can find this out in your initial discussions with the client.
Additional criteria to consider include industry, size, location and so on.
When you go through this process you will quickly learn which consulting clients are your best and most likely to refer your more business.
Plus you’ll also have deeper insight into which types of companies to focus your marketing efforts on.