How to Win More RFP Business: For Consultants

Video Transcript

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.

A consultant recently asked me how they could win more RFP (Request for Proposal) business?

RFP-Business-Consultants

It’s a good question, however, my answer may not be the one you want to hear, which is: instead of trying to win more RFP business, you should actually try and win less.

You see, RFP business is really out of your control. You can do a lot of things to prepare, and if you’re an incumbent who has worked with the client or organization in question before, you do have a better chance of winning that business – but much of the RFP process is still out of your control. Why try and spend so much time?

So if you want to win more business, I’d simply suggest going after fewer RFPs.

Often RFPs take a lot of time – many pages to put together and review – and yet you don’t actually have control in the situation. You don’t have direct contact with the buyer – the actual decision maker.

RFPs are typically made up of panels, layers of bureaucracy and organizations. As a consultant, does it really make sense for you to spend time trying to wade through those layers of bureaucracy, to win RFP business? Or does it make sense for you to go direct to an actual decision maker to try and win their business?

The latter is a much more effective route to take when it comes to growing your business.

You may not even know this, but the other challenge is that often the organization that has put out to RFP is only looking for the lowest price bid. So while you might actually be better for an organization in terms of skill, experience and the ability to produce results, they might be mandated to go only with the lowest price bid.

You might spend all this time and energy to prepare for the RFP, and you might actually be the best fit for it – however, it doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to win their business.

So if you want to win more business, I’d simply suggest going after fewer RFPs.

If you’re looking for a great book on winning RFP business, check out Tom Searcy’s RFPs Suck.

4 Tips to Transition from a Corporate Career to Becoming A Consultant

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.

The first is to go all-in, where you resign from your current job and charge full steam ahead to work on growing your consulting business.

I received an email from someone asking me how they can make the transition from a corporate career into running their own consulting business. It’s something they’ve been thinking about for quite some time, yet not quite sure how to navigate.

Corporate-Career-to-Becoming-A-Consultant

I’ve worked with many consultants in the same situation, and I’ve coached them all through the process of moving out of a corporate career into starting, running and growing successful consulting businesses.

Let me share with you a few things to consider when going through – or at least contemplating – this kind of situation.

Two Approaches to Making the Transition

What most people don’t realize is that there are two ways to go about transitioning from a corporate career into starting your consulting practice.

The first is to go all-in, where you resign from your current job and charge full steam ahead to work on growing your consulting business.

The second approach is the slow transition, where you keep your job and consult part-time – with perhaps one or two projects on the side, until you gain more experience and thereby more income from your consulting practice, eventually enabling you to shift away from your corporate job, once and for all.

Which is right and which is wrong?

Especially when your situation is a concern, a really effective method of transitioning is to continue working in your corporate job, and consult on the side until you have become comfortable and until you start seeing a bit more income come in – which then allows you to transition out of the corporate job.

Some people will tell you that you’ve got to walk away from your job. After all, if you’re not committed 100% to your consultancy, then you shouldn’t even think about doing it.

What I’ve observed, after working with so many consultants is that there is no right or wrong way. It all depends on your situation; it depends on your resources, your obligations and responsibilities. Do you have dependents? Do you have a family? What is your situation like? How much money do you have in the bank? What is your comfort and risk level?

Work on the Side

Especially when your situation is a concern, a really effective method of transitioning is to continue working in your corporate job, and consult on the side until you have become comfortable and until you start seeing a bit more income come in – which then allows you to transition out of the corporate job. Continue Reading

Wishing You All a Happy, Healthy, and Successful 2016

NY-2016

Well we made it, today is the last day of 2015 and it’s been another big year for us all.

From the core team here at ConsultingSuccess.com we just want to take this moment to thank you all for being part of this community and supporting us as you do.

We look forward to bringing you lots of new stuff in 2016, so stay tuned for that and in the mean time have an amazing New Years celebration with your friends, families, and loved ones.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and successful 2016!

2015 Into 2016

CoffeeShopPlanning

The early morning sun is beaming through the coffee shop windows.

Looks like I’m the first customer of the day. It’s quiet and the tables are empty.

I got up early after a late night of back to back meetings last night downtown. Hit the gym and over to a local coffee shop.

I’m looking back at what an amazing year 2015 has been.

The arrival of my daughter Rei. Her smile and eyes bring a level of warmth that I can’t put into words.

I’ve worked with almost 100 consultants personally this year (not including the thousands more who have joined our training programs) and helped them to add hundreds of thousands of dollars to their consulting practices. Many have landed their biggest projects ever and have doubled and even tripled their revenues.

Helping my clients achieve results gives me the greatest satisfaction. I feel a deep sense of fulfillment by serving clients and making an impact in their business and lives.

Our own businesses have experienced strong growth. We not only reached our goals but exceeded them.

So back to 2015. Continue Reading

Star Wars Consulting

spacestarwars
I was listening to Charlie Rose interview George Lucas yesterday on Bloomberg.

Did you know that the first Star Wars almost never got made? More on that in a just a second…

Lucas of Star Wars and Indiana Jones fame has an estimated net worth of $5.1 billion. He’s been a successful filmaker and entrepreneur since the 70’s.

Well, back when Lucas wanted to launch Star Wars FOX told him “No”. They didn’t believe that Star Wars would be successful. Imagine that!

Lucas didn’t give up. He found a champion within FOX that believed in his vision and the two of them came up with a plan to get the movie made.

I’ve been told that Fox gave him $4M to make the first Star Wars movie and he later sold his company to Disney for $4 billion! The rest is history.

What about you? You have a vision of what you want your business and life to be, right? Your ‘movie’ that you want to get made. Are you taking the action required to make it a reality or are you going to let it fail?

Here we are about to wrap up 2015. Ask yourself, did you hit your business and financial goals? If the answer is ‘no’, then why not? What held you back?

I believe in YOU. I know you can reach your goals. Whatever your vision is for 2016 let’s make it a reality for you.

If you’d like to add an extra $10k to $50k per month to your consulting business I have a very special opportunity for you.

For just a few consultants I’m offering a new way to work together where I will personally guide you step-by-step through a system that will help you to increase your fees and land more clients.

See results from consultants who have learned this system

Would you like to have more freedom and flexibility? To be able to travel or spend more time with your family? To treat your spouse or kids without having to worry about how much cash you have in the bank?

If you’re committed to taking action and are willing to follow a proven system this may be a great fit for you.

I only have time to work with a few consultants and teach this exact system. If you’re one of them I will work with you to make 2016 your most successful year yet.

If you’re interested go here and let’s talk

To your success,
Michael Zipursky

Happy Holiday Message and Video From ConsultingSuccess.com

From Michael Zipursky, and the whole team at ConsultingSuccess.com we just want to wish you a happy holiday season and a happy new year!

2015 has been a great year for the community of ConsultingSuccess.com and we’d like to thank you and we’re looking forward to continue working with and serving all of you in 2016 and beyond.

 

3 Ways to Compete with Larger Consulting Firms

Video Transcript

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 received a question from a consultant who asked how they can compete with larger competitors and with larger consulting firms in their market.

Compete-With-Larger-Firms

This is a question that affects a lot of consultants – especially a lot of independent and smaller consulting firms where, in many markets and many industries, the vast majority of business is captured by larger firms.

However, there is always opportunity for you if you know how to compete. There’s always enough business for independent and smaller consulting firms – even when it appears that the large consulting firms have the market cornered.

Instead, focus on the areas in which you excel; these will be seen and appreciated by your ideal clients and buyers.

If you accept the idea that they already have all the business and that you should just give up or abandon your goals and cause, then they’ve won and you’ve failed.

And I don’t want you to fail.

So what I want to do is offer you three tips – three ideas to shift your thinking into seeing how you can actually compete and win business away from larger consulting firms and show you how many consultants have been able to do this successfully. Continue Reading

8 Tips to Stronger Relationships with Consulting Clients

As consultants we are in a relationship business. Strong client relationships lead to successful project outcomes. They also lead to on-going work and more referral business. Here are eight tips to help strengthen your consulting client relationships.

Like this infographic? Share it on social media.

8 Tips to Stronger Relationships with Consulting Clients

Embed this infographic: Copy the code in the box below and paste it into your own website

<a href="http://www.consultingsuccess.com/8-tips-to-stronger-relationships-with-consulting-clients"><img alt="8 Tips to Stronger Relationships with Consulting Clients" src="http://www.consultingsuccess.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/StrongerClientRelationships-Infographic.jpg"></a>
<a href="http://www.consultingsuccess.com/">Infographic brought to you by Consulting Success</a>

When Consultants Should and Shouldn’t Outsource Their Marketing

Video Transcript

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.

Consultants-Outsource-Marketing

Today I’d like to share a few reasons why you should avoid outsourcing your marketing when you’re just getting your consulting business going. Far too often, I see consultants try to outsource areas of their marketing – or even all of it – too early in the business process. What tends to happen in almost every situation is that they invest tens of thousands of dollars (or more) into working with different agencies or providers, with little or nothing to show for it in the end.

True Outsourcing Horror Story

I just spoke with a client who had struggled for many years, before coming to me for help. He’d been working with different types of providers from SEO companies and pay-per-click management companies, to working with different marketing departments and outsourcing various types of social media.

If you outsource your marketing to someone else, all of that feedback gets shifted to someone who might not care about your business the same way that you do.

But when I looked at what was generated in terms of results, it was very little if anything. The marketing efforts garnered maybe one or two projects, but they really weren’t in that sweet spot. It also didn’t help him attract the ideal clients.

It’s understandable why people want to do this; it’s easy to think that if you outsource your marketing to someone who’s an expert in that area, they’ll be able to do the implementation for you, and you won’t have to worry about it. And you’ll just get to work with your clients, collect the cheques. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality, and that’s why most people who do go this route don’t see the results they’d hoped. Continue Reading

The Success Mindset for Consultants

My daughter Rei is 9 weeks old and she’s adorable.

She does everything that babies are supposed to do. She eats, she sleeps, all the rest of that stuff.

There’s something I thought about recently that I want to share with you…as it relates to your success.

Success-Mindset-for-Consultants

My daughter doesn’t really care what other people think. She’s focused on what she needs. She wants to be fed, she wants to be changed, she wants to sleep, and like most babies, she’s focused on herself.

At a time like this that makes complete sense.

It also got me thinking about how consultants – all people in business, entrepreneurs and so forth – at some stage as we grow up, we start to worry and think so much about what others think about is. Of course, that makes sense.

Losing Confidence with Age

As we develop, we start to shift away from the mindset of a child or of a baby and focus much more on ourselves. Unfortunately many people worry too much about what other people say. That worry, that concern, affects your confidence.

What I want you to think about here is have you been too concerned about what other people think about you?

Have you doubted your own level of expertise or authority?

How can we expect our clients to fully have confidence in us as consultants if we’re not going to have full confidence in our own abilities?

Have you doubted your success, whether it’s in your marketing or working with clients?

Have you doubted that maybe you don’t deserve to reach the level of success that you want?

Maybe you’re concerned with how people view you or whether they’re going to think that your five years of expertise or ten years of expertise isn’t enough? Continue Reading