How to Become a Consultant – Part 5: Finding Clients

Here’s the fastest way to get consulting clients – know people. The more people you know the more people you can approach and tell them about what you’re doing. It’s a simple conversation approach but sooner or later someone will know someone, or maybe even a family friend will be a potential client, and you’ll have landed your first deal and have really become a consultant.

But what if you don’t know anyone? What do you do? Well, there are many approaches you can take, some will depend on your industry and others on your budget – if your questions aren’t answered in this post just leave your question in the reply area and we’ll see if we can help.

Landing new clients is all about marketing. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Find the right clients.
2. Get your message in front of them.
3. Make them an offer that is hard to refuse.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 over and over again.

This may sound ridiculously simple to you, but it works. Let’s break down each of these 4 steps in more detail.

Find the Right Clients
Not all clients are created equal. Do you want to approach entrepreneurs, single retail stores, franchises, large organizations? To decide this you’ll need to decide who your ideal customer is and what type of customer you want to work with.

You may not know right from the beginning. That’s ok. Just be sure to select one group at first and focus your efforts on getting business from them.

What you’ll need is a list of the company name, person in charge of your area of expertise, and contact details. Now you can start communicating with them.

If you’re wondering how to get this info, wake up. The internet gives it all to you. Just spend some time digging.

Getting Your Message Read
Once you have your list of ideal clients, you now need to get your message in front of them. You can do this by sending them a letter in the mail (which I recommend), an email or calling them.

Your communication piece needs to be well thought out. It needs to grab their attention and give them a reason to contact you.

Make Them An Offer They Can’t Refuse
Be clear on your offer and advantage. We covered this in Part 4 of becoming a consultant. But your offer needs to be distinctive and solve a problem the potential client has – that will get their eyeballs to take notice.

It’s not enough to simply state the benefits of your service. You need to convey it in a way that removes almost all the risk and hesitation the person may have. You can do this by providing a powerful guarantee. Another approach is to create a presentation or report that is packed with information useful to that person, and get them to contact you to receive it – your goal in the first communication is to get them to take action and show sincere interest – no one wants a client that isn’t motivated.

Repeat and Follow Up
This final step is probably the most important. Most marketing fails because of a lack of follow up. Think about the most successful realtors in your area. Who are they? They’re the ones that keep getting your face with calendars, mailers and other communications month-after-month, year-after-year.

It’s an accepted fact that it takes 7 or more communications or touches to turn a prospect into a client. Give up after 1 or 2, even 3 or 4 for that matter and you might as well not get started.

Why does it take so long? Because business is all about relationships. And relationships take time to form.

There are many other ways to find clients. Consider this an introduction for the new consultant with more to come.

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