Simple Consulting Solution to a Complicated Problem

Over-Complicating-Business

I was out for a business lunch at a local restaurant.

They have great food and are known for their service and attentiveness to customers.

This time however, something happened that reminded me of a mistake many business owners make.

Most things are meant to be kept simple and humans have a habit of feeling that more is better – when the opposite is usually the case.

We ordered our food and when it arrived we asked to have some hot sauce.

“Sure, I’ll get that for you right away” said the waiter.

Two minutes went by and no hot sauce.

When someone asks for a condiment like hot sauce once their food arrives, they want it right away so they can add it to the food in front of them and start enjoying it.

Still waiting for our hot sauce I got the attention of a waitress and asked her for some hot sauce. She said, “Right away”. But then we noticed that she went over to her POS system and entered in that we wanted hot sauce. Continue Reading

Getting Clients Is What Counts

Getting-More-Consulting-Clients

You’re a consultant and you know doing great work for your clients counts.

But it’s not the most important aspect of your business…

Getting clients is.

If you don’t get clients you have no one to do great work for.

And doing great work isn’t the hard part.

For success in this business you must be focused on your marketing and client acquisition.

For the vast majority of consultants I speak with – and I talk with many – attracting and landing their ideal clients is the challenge.

People see this all wrong.

Just the other day a consultant told me that he was thinking to split payment with his partners like this:

25% for the person that brings in the business

75% for the people doing the work

Why would the person taking on the hardest part in the process get the lowest percentage?

That’s ludicrous.

For success in this business you must be focused on your marketing and client acquisition.

It’s the only way you’ll enjoy a thriving business. Continue Reading

How to Double and Triple Your Consulting Business Revenue

Triple-Double-Consulting-Revenue

Corrie Banks is very good at what she does.

She’s an expert in supply chain and logistics. And she works with some of the countries top corporations.

Yet she wasn’t reaching her full potential.

After leaving her corporate job Corrie worked damn hard to grow her business.

And while she was seeing results they weren’t what she knew she wanted and deserved.

In this interview you’ll hear why Corrie joined my coaching program for consultants. More importantly, you’ll learn the steps we worked on together and that she implemented to see a significant increase in her business.

How significant? Listen to the interview below…

Update… I just received this from Corrie:

“Michael Zipursky is a great coach, leader and mentor. His training systems and coaching program have helped me triple my client list, quadruple my revenue. He’s also helped me be more efficient and effective with managing my time. His program has paid huge dividends, and has transformed my business.”
– Corrie Banks, President
Triskele Logistics and Consulting

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.

The Foundation of Marketing a Consulting Business

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If you want to land more clients and increase your income stop what you’re doing.

Because what you’re doing today may not get you to where you want to go.

Chasing the latest ‘hot’ marketing tactic is the WRONG approach.

Each week I speak with consultants that are doing what they believe they should be to land more clients and get more business.

They follow what they’ve read in some marketing book or on some internet marketing blog.

The advice they get may not be bad. In fact, sometimes it can work quite well.

The problem, and this is a common problem, is that it may not work for you.

The marketing and strategy that works for one business or one consultant may or may not be the right one for you.

Your ideal clients and buyers have different preferences and habits.

Chasing the latest ‘hot’ marketing tactic is the wrong approach.

Just because someone says it’s working for them, doesn’t mean it will work for you.

You can try all the marketing in the world and yet most of it will flop unless you’ve taken the time to create your foundation.

So what can you do?

Go back to the fundamentals.

You need to establish a strong foundation for your business.

To have great clarity around your ideal clients.

Your value proposition.

And to know how to get their attention and engage them in a meaningful conversation.

You can try all the marketing in the world and yet most of it will flop unless you’ve taken the time to create your foundation. Continue Reading

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

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

Consulting Certifications Don’t Matter

Certificate-for-Consultants

I received an email from a consultant the other day asking me what type of certification they should get to help them become a more successful consultant.

I replied, “you don’t need any certification to be successful in this business.”

Then just yesterday I spoke with another consultant in Australia that told me he was part of two different consulting associations. His business is struggling.

Let me first explain the value of a certification:

  • Learn systems and processes to work with clients.
  • Speak with other consultants just getting started.
  • Gain confidence in doing consulting work if you weren’t confident already.

Here’s the problem with certifications, they don’t help you GROW your business.

I’ve said before, as consultants, we’re not in the consulting business. We’re in the marketing business.

It doesn’t matter how many certifications or letters you have after your name. And it doesn’t matter how good you are at the work you do. If you don’t have enough clients, you don’t have a business.

The consultant that emailed me and the other one from Australia both had spent great time and money on getting certifications believing that would allow them to be successful.

In both cases it didn’t. Continue Reading

Marketing for Consultants Survey Results 2014

The results are in…

We asked over 15,000 consultants how they market their consulting services as we do each year.

We’ve compiled the results and created an infographic that shows you what type of marketing consultants are finding most effective and what is the most ineffective.

See the full infographic with survey results below: Continue Reading

4 Steps to Get More Consulting Clients

Steps-To-Get-More-Clients

Getting more clients doesn’t have to be hard.

It takes persistence and some work, but if you’re serious about growing your business that shouldn’t be a problem.

You must be able to get their attention and then get them interested and engaged so you can have a conversation with them.

Here’s what you need to do…

Identify who your ideal clients are – the ones that you’ll enjoy working with the most, the most profitable and the clients you can deliver maximum value for.

Find out where they are – do they attend specific events, seminars, read specific publications.

Get in front of them – once you know where they are, now it’s time for you to get in front of them. That might mean setting up a meeting, writing an article, giving a talk or something else. But you need to get in front of them.

Create attention and interest – your positioning, value proposition and messaging need to be on point and relevant to your ideal client. You must be able to get their attention and then get them interested and engaged so you can have a conversation with them.

Consultants that work through that process see significant results. The challenge many people face is that they don’t do this.

They often know they should, or have other ideas of what they should do, and they put it off, for one reason or another. Continue Reading

Do Consultants Really Need to Specialize?

Choosing-to-Specialize

This is a conversation I have with consultants I coach all the time.

It’s a topic I’ve written and talked about on several occasions.

Positioning yourself as a specialist doesn’t put you in a corner. That’s a concern I hear all the time and it’s off the mark.

And it’s one of the biggest areas of misunderstanding for consultants.

The question I get is “do I need to specialize?”

My answer is YES, however, there’s more to it than that…

The Goal of Specialization

If your goal is to land more clients and you’re getting started in the consulting business, than yes, specialization will help you.

Why? Because once you’ve decided who your ideal clients are, what industry they are in and in what way you will help them – your marketing becomes more focused.

If you’re new to this business, or simply want to get more clients you need to market your services.

That means you must be clear on who to target your message to.

Let’s look at two examples…

In the first, a consultant wants to get clients. They don’t know who their ideal clients are and they haven’t decided what service offerings to focus on. They go do some networking. They try to get some speaking opportunities or write some blog posts.

In the second example, a consultant decides they will use their experience in online marketing to position themselves as an online marketing consultant. They will help companies to increase their online sales. Their ideal clients are e-commerce businesses. They write articles for e-commerce publications and speak at their associations. They go to events related to that topic.

Now, which consultant do you believe will see greater success?

Which will spend less money trying to reach their ideal clients? Continue Reading

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