Hi. It’s Michael Zipursky from Consultingsuccess.com. Welcome back to the Consulting Corner, where consultants learn how to consistently attract their ideal clients and significantly increase their fees.
I’d like you to ask yourself a question: Are you really a professional? Does it reflect in every aspect of your business?
I have the pleasure and honor of working with consultants all around the world in all different industries, and there are some simple things that consultants can do to really set themselves apart, because so many consultants still lack in this specific area: believing that they are professionals. They say they are professionals, and yet their actions don’t support that.
I’d like to offer you three specific things that you can do to really differentiate yourself and place your reputation, your brand and your business – on very solid ground.
Show up on time
The first is to ensure that you show up on time. When you set a meeting for 9 AM, be there for 9 AM. If you tell somebody you’re going to call them at 12, call them at 12. If you have an appointment of some sort or some sort of a meeting, a conversation – anything for which you’ve set a time – show up. On time.
If you don’t do this, it reflects very poorly on you. Yet, what I often see – and I’ve witnessed this myself – is consultants who show up for a meeting, maybe five or ten minutes late, and expect their buyer, the clients, to just let it pass or go unnoticed.
You’ll be someone that they can go to because they know that you’re always going to be there
It doesn’t go unnoticed.
Not showing up on time it really does reflect poorly on you, and your lack of professionalism. Instead, aim to be early for every phone call, every appointment – every meeting that you have. If there’s a situation where you really must show up late, make sure that you apologize, let the buyer or client know why you’re late and be sincere about it. Don’t lie. Don’t make excuses. Then make sure it doesn’t happen again (or just do your best to ensure that it doesn’t even happen the first time).
Do what you say you’re going to do
The second area that you can ensure you appear professional is to simply do what you say that you’re going to do. Far too often, people say that they’re going call back the next day, or that they’re going to send you an email on Wednesday, or that they’re going to submit a proposal to a buyer by a specific date and time – and they don’t. They might even be hours or days late – or even weeks late. Or they don’t even follow through. They don’t ever call you back or reply to that voicemail or submit that proposal.
People say all kinds of things and yet they don’t do them.
This is a really simple area in which to differentiate yourself because what’s happening in our society and in the business landscape, is that so many people don’t follow through on what they say they’re going to do. So when you actually do that and you do it consistently – not just once or twice, but if you really ingrain that as a habit and in your mindset as a way that you operate your business, your clients, buyers and people in your spheres of influence will recognize you as someone they can trust.
You’ll be someone that they can go to because they know that you’re always going to be there; that if you say that you’re going to do something you’re going to actually do it. I know it sounds simple but it really is a powerful way to set yourself apart.
Stay visible, even when the going’s rough
The third way to really show up as a professional in your business is not to hide when times are tough. What the unprofessional does is that in any situation they encounter that might be a little bit challenging, where they may have to face a bit of the fear they have, where they may have to say no to someone – what do they do? They hide. They do everything they can not to show up in that situation. They hope that it’ll pass, they hope that it’ll go away.
Instead, be who you are, follow what you really believe, and face that situation. Doing so will really give you a much stronger presence.
I recommend that you always show up. When you face a really challenging situation – whether it’s telling a client that they’re wrong or to telling someone that you don’t want to move forward in working with them, or that you want to end something for a specific reason…whatever that challenging situation is, don’t avoid it.
Far too many people do that.
Take time to actually face it. Go right up to it and share what needs to be shared. Don’t hide but be present. Show up. Take a stand and let people know how you really feel. Not everyone has to agree with the way you think about things (and frankly, not everyone will).
Instead, be who you are, follow what you really believe, and face that situation. Doing so will really give you a much stronger presence. It’ll give you more confidence. And really, when you take it from the other side, and you look at it from a buyer’s perspective or from someone who’s working with you, people prefer to actually hear the truth rather than to be led on or to hope that they’re going to hear some result from you or positive feedback, only to find out that you just delayed giving them the real feedback that you should have given to begin with.
Think about these three areas right now in your business and how you’re approaching them. Are you really showing up as a professional in all three? Or do you have some areas for improvement? Give it some thought. I think you’ll see great benefit from doing so.