How to Handle a Common Buyer Objection: Your Fees Are Too High!

Common-Buyer-Objection

Have you ever had a buyer tell you that “your fees are too high?”

Or that they can’t “afford your fees?”

If you’ve never heard those words before you’re likely not charging enough.

Consultants often make a mistake in believing that these objections are about price. They’re not.

Buyers don’t make decisions solely based on price.

In fact, if a buyer’s final decision is coming down to price it’s BECAUSE they are focusing on PRICE that the sale isn’t going through.

The need moves when you’re able to communicate the real value to a buyer in a way that they care about. They no longer see your fee as a cost, rather an investment they will greatly benefit from. And the common objection no longer holds you back.

When you are a master of an effective sales conversation buyers don’t see your fees as a cost – they’re not looking only at the price.

They see your fee as an investment.

It’s clear that the money they invest with you will come back manyfold as a result of working with you.

It may sound like a subtle shift; the impact however is far from subtle. It’s powerful enough to shake walls so hard money starts raining from the roof.

That’s an interesting image, isn’t it?

Seriously though, if you want to overcome the objection that your fees are too high or that the buyer can’t afford your fees you need to become better at communicating the value that you’re providing.

Once the buyer sees the real value and trusts that you can deliver what you say you will the objection disappears. Continue Reading

How to Reach Buyers When They Are Ready to Buy

Ready-Buyers

The average price of a home in my city is well over $1M. What’s amazing is that even at that price houses put on the market sell in days.

We recently listed ours and within two days it sold – above asking price.

I’m not going to drown you in the deep bubble of what real estate has become in this city.

No. This story is about marketing…

A week or so after the sale I got a letter in the mail.

The envelope didn’t have my name on it. Nor did it have a return address.

The only thing listed was my home address.

Curious I opened the letter and this is what I found:

Moving-Markeing-Consultant

Timely isn’t it?

This is a smart marketer at work.

This is the essence of marketing.

It doesn’t matter that I won’t use their services – because I already made other arrangements.

What I love about this example is that a percentage of people definitely will call up this moving company and end up hiring them.

This marketer has done one thing very right – and that is to put their message in front of my eyes at the right time… Continue Reading

Consulting Company Names: Is It Time To Rethink Yours?

Consulting-Names-Rethink-Yours

Questions and search queries regarding how to name a consultancy are definitely popular at this blog and also in marketing and business conversations in general.

Why is there so much talk about naming and also why is it so hard to come up with good names for your business ventures?

Do your family, friends, and clients know your consultancy’s name? If none of them have a clue or they always mess it up then it may be time to re-consider.

There are a bunch of reasons your name might not be that great. You started your company quickly and didn’t really give it too much thought at that time. You used your last name which is easy for you and your grandma to say but hard for others to pronounce and spell. Or maybe you came up with a “cool” name but slowly realized it wasn’t as hip as you first thought.

It’s all good, a poor naming choice can happen to all of and it usually does at one point or another in our business careers. *Side note: This website used to be known as Business Consulting Buzz but switched to ConsultingSuccess.com for naming and branding purposes; I’ll get into that in a future post.

Don’t Get Too Attached

As they say in Buddhism “Don’t get too attached to objects”. I’m not a Buddhist and won’t get religious on you but when it comes to naming if you have a bad name it may be time to let it go and move on!

Too many business owners know they have a poor name but due to all the effort it would take them to switch things over they hang on to that name.

Veteran marketing professional, author, and consultant Al Reis talks about naming in this article and says “There are many, many consultants out there with names as bad as Lifshitz, but in my experience they almost never change their names. Tragic.”

5 Questions to Ask Yourself about Your Consulting Name

If you’ve been thinking about your business name for a while but not sure if you should change it or not I’ve come up with a list of questions below you can ask yourself or others close to you and see what kind of answers come back to you.

  1. Is your name easy for others to spell?
    This can mean you email address, your URL (website address), etc. One clue is if people often ask you to spell the name or repeat it so they can get it right.
  2. Is it memorable?
    Do your family, friends, and clients know your consultancy’s name? If none of them have a clue or they always mess it up then it may be time to re-consider.
  3. Can most people pronounce it?
    When you meet new people and potential clients do they have trouble pronouncing your company name? If they do that’s not a good sign.
  4. Do you own the domain name?
    Is you company name completely different from your domain name online? We see this lot and you need to fix this. Your company and domain name should be the same if not very similar. This also applies to social media are you able to get your name or something very similar or Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter?
  5. What happens when you type it into Google?
    When you type your company name into Google do you come up first or near the top? Or do other companies and people come up way before you? If so, that’s not a good thing and it might be time for a name change.

Continue Reading

Marketing for Consultants Survey 2015: Results Are In

We asked over 20,000 consultants how they are marketing their services and growing their business. The responses came flooding in. Below you’ll find an infographic with the results from the survey as well as a breakdown with some key insights.

MarketingforConsultantsSurvey2015

– On average consultants spend almost 40% of their time networking. Followed by 12% of their time speaking and giving presentations.

– The majority of consultants income comes from networking (30%) followed by referrals (28%).

– 80% of consultants spend less than $5000 each year marketing their business.

– 31% of consultants make less than $30,000 a year from consulting. About 23% make more than that but less than $100,000. 31% or so make between $100,000 and $500,000. About 4% make over $500,000

– Consultants making over $100,000 a year noted that Writing articles and creating reports generated significant revenue for them. Even more than speaking and presentations which many of these consultants said they spent time on.

– A higher percentage of consultants making over $100,000 a year are women compared to consultants making less than $100k each year. There was also a higher percentage of men that took part in this survey.

– Consultants making over $100,000 a year spend more on their marketing than consultants who earn less.

– The survey was taken by consultants of all different levels of experience. Over 20% of consultants have more than 10 years of experience as consultants.

– The #1 reason people became consultants was to “By my own boss” at 40% of respondents. Followed by “Flexible schedule” coming in at 22%.

– Over 50% of consultants work with 6 clients or less per year. 36% work with between 7 and 20 clients each year.

– Project fee is the most common way consultants are paid at 40%. Unfortunately over 21% of consultants are still using an hourly fee and just 3.4% know how to use an ROI based fee model.

– About 45% of consultants report that their average client project is valued at $5000 or less. 19.7% of consultants have projects valued at $10,000 to $25,000. Only 5% of consultants have client projects valued at $100,000 or more.

– Over 76% of consultants are solo independent consultants. About 20% of consultants have less than 5 employees.

Want help to improve your marketing and consistently attract your ideal clients? Get in touch here

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The ONLY 3 Activities Consultants Should Focus On

Consulting-Activities

There are three things and really only three that you should be spending your time on each day.

You may find that extremely exciting. No longer do you have to try and tackle a long and growing to-do list.

Proactively follow up with leads, set meetings and calls. Enter meaningful sales conversations. Done right this focus will grow your revenues like no other activity.

Or you may find that idea scary because it requires you to become even more focused and to remove all the distractions around you.

Whichever side you’re on it doesn’t change the importance of these three things.

And if growing your consulting business is a priority don’t underestimate the power of what I’m about to share with you.

Priority #1: Serve Paying Clients

1

Your first priority should always be to serve your paying clients.

They deserve the most from you.

When you start your day always begin with your clients in mind.

Have a clear plan of what you need to do that day to serve them in the best possible way and provide them with exceptional value.

You’ll want to spend 30-50% of your time on this priority. Continue Reading

Why I Invested $10K When I Could Have Got It Free

Free-vs-Paid-Coaching

I recently decided to make another investment in hiring a coach.

I’ve worked with coaches for years and credit their place in my life and my own commitment to the success of my company and that which I’ve personally enjoyed.

But this time things were different. Let me give you some background…

So even though I could have possibly seen some results trying to do things myself – I knew from experience – that being penny wise, pound foolish is no way to grow a business.

I invest tens-of-thousands of dollars each year into working with coaches. In one of the mastermind groups I’m part of there’s a coach that specializes in webinars.

He’s so effective at them that he regularly brings in $40K, $75K even $100K per webinar. And unlike these big product launches you’ve likely heard about and seen that happen a few times each year…he runs webinars for high-end coaching, consulting and training in his specific market every 4-6 weeks. Sometimes more often.

You can get a sense by doing the math…but he generates well over a $1M each year.

Time to Invest

I know the power of coaching. I’ve experienced it and all the most successful business owners I know have coaches too. So I decided it would make sense for me to hire him.

My goal was to get his coaching so that I can improve my webinars. I setup a call to learn more about how he could help me and what the investment would be. By the end of the call I was confident this is what I needed. That it would benefit my business.

The investment: $10,000

It’s a lot of money. But the value is clear. It would only take 1-2 sales to make that back and turn the investment into a great ROI. But then something happened… Continue Reading

Is Your Consulting Website Mobile-Friendly Yet? Google Says It Should Be

mobile-friendly-consulting-website

Yes the Google Internet gods have spoken again. Starting on April 21st of this year Google will be penalizing websites that are not “mobile-friendly” or “responsive”.

Here are Google’s exact wordsStarting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

Now I’ve been involved in internet marketing and SEO for many years now so this news doesn’t come as a surprise to me. All the websites that I’m involved in have been mobile friendly for a few years now, and you need to make sure your consulting website is as well.

The steps are actually pretty simple. You need to make sure that your current website or new website that you are having developed works on all devices.

I mean it makes perfect sense. For several years now people from all over the globe (especially in Asia and parts of Europe) have been increasingly using phones or tablets as one of the primary ways to access and use the internet.

GlobalWebIndex has found through research that “80% of internet users own a smartphone”. Continue Reading

How I Doubled My Consulting Business In Less Than 12 Weeks: Case Study with Sonaya Williams

Sonaya-Williams-Double-Consulting-Business

The Sonaya Williams Group helps small businesses streamline their teams, so the owners have more time to make money and enjoy their lives. Sonaya Williams, President of the Sonaya Williams Group, works with entrepreneurs who have been in business for over three years and are making over $350,000 a year, but have come to a point where the ideas they’re throwing at the wall just aren’t sticking. These entrepreneurs want to do more—launch a new revenue stream or create a new program, for example—but realize they need better teams and better infrastructure in order to do so.

Challenge

All the coaching programs Sonaya had previously tried were better suited for different businesses and business models, whereas she needed specific coaching aimed at her consulting business. She was trying to find a better way to get new clients and work with existing clients, but was never able to get a lot out of the coaching programs or grow with the coaches she previously had around her. In several cases, the coaches she worked with would try to force her into using a business model that didn’t work with her consulting business.

She went to her ideal clients and interviewed them, an exercise she learned through the coaching program, and was able to pull in more clients based on the information gathered during the interview process.

When Sonaya came across Michael Zipursky’s coaching program at ConsultingSuccess.com, she saw it as an opportunity to finally work with someone dedicated to consultants. The main challenge for Sonaya was figuring out how to create consistent income, as her income was always fluctuating, leaving her in a constant state of uncertainty. The root cause of her problems was that she wasn’t clear on who her ideal client was, and wasn’t speaking the language that current or prospective clients wanted to hear.

Actions

Working with Michael has allowed Sonaya to really get clear about who her ideal clients are. She went to her ideal clients and interviewed them, an exercise she learned through the coaching program, and was able to pull in more clients based on the information gathered during the interview process.

Sonaya even gave the profile of her ideal client a name: Kayla. Whenever the Sonaya Williams Group writes articles, they do so with Kayla in mind. Whenever the company is looking at attending events, they make sure to see if Kayla will be there. Sonaya knows who Kayla is, what Kayla’s thinking, what Kayla says, and what Kayla wants in life.

Results

“I’ve doubled my business in less than 12 weeks. Michael helped me to re-package my offerings and improve my pricing structures which lead to a 40% increase in my fees and I’ve already landed 2 new projects at my new rate and I’m confident many more to come.”
– Sonaya Williams, President
Sonaya Williams Group

The targeting is specific to the point where Sonaya now gets on sales calls with people, and if they’re not “Kayla”, then Sonaya refers them to a different company, or redirects them to someone else internally. Prior to working with Michael, Sonaya would take on any client. Sonaya now says “yes” to the right clients, and “no” to the wrong ones.

The precise targeting and working with the right people has made Sonaya feel confident in increasing her prices, and confident in knowing how to increase fees with existing clients as well—knowing how to communicate the true value of her services so clients agree to the price changes.

In the past, Sonaya would throw marketing initiatives out there and see what would work. She had a profile on every social network, and spent a lot of time being active across all these networks—even though prospective clients may not have been using any of these networks to begin with. Now, she’s being more targeted, taking the time to focus her efforts, review the results, and make changes accordingly. And it’s working. She’s doubled her revenue and no longer spends time or money on marketing campaigns that don’t serve a purpose or produce results.

Coaching-Program-Blog-Banner

Marketing for Consultants Survey 2015

Do People Really Know What You Do? 4 Examples of Consultants with Clear Brand Messaging

Clear-Brand-Message

Do people really know what you do? This may sound like no brainer and obvious question and answer but it’s really not, let me explain further.

We recently launched a new side of the business and we now offer brand strategy and professional websites for consultants. Through this program I’m getting the chance to work with and chat to more and more business people about their websites and brand strategy.

So the solution is actually quite simple. On your home page you need to tell visitors what you do in 1-2 sentences. Make sure this text is clearly designed and easy to notice and read as soon as users arrive on your website.

These consultants and coaches are high level experts in their field that understand the importance of branding but they simply don’t have a website yet or the one they do have is really out of date and often needs a complete re-design.

As I work with these professionals I’m starting to realize something very interesting that I’d like to share with you today, read this twice if you have to as it’s a game changer.

A lot of consultants really get and understand what they offer and specialize in but they don’t communicate it well to people that visit their website.

This is huge because if people are arriving on your website and don’t really know what you do then there’s a great chance they’ll just leave and you’ll lose them, most likely forever.

Remember they don’t leave your website because you aren’t offering what they need; in fact you and the services you offer may be exactly what they’re looking for.  They leave because they don’t know what you do and don’t want to spend their limited time to try to figure that out.

So the solution is actually quite simple. On your home page you need to tell visitors what you do in 1-2 sentences. Make sure this text is clearly designed and easy to notice and read as soon as users arrive on your website.

Below I’ll share with you 4 websites of consultants that are using the power of concise text and clean, simple design to instantly tell all visitors what they offer and what they specialize in.

Once users understand that, they can dig into the website to see more specific information on products, services, and other information that is being offered.

Rory Vaden – Self Discipline Expert

Rory Vaden is an author, consultant, entrepreneur and self-discipline expert. As you can see in the below design (his homepage) he has a clean design and some large text that sums up who he is and what he specializes in.

Rory-Vaden

Brent Purves – Internet Marketing Expert & Coach

In this next example with Brent Purves you don’t see a photo but you do see a large text block explaining what Brent specializes in. Not only does he sum it up nicely he makes his exact specializations stand out using a different color text that is in bold which makes what he does even more clear to the visitor. Continue Reading