10 Key Traits of Great Consultants

Some consultants attract more business and prestige than others. They are able to earn higher fees and produce greater results for their clients. Here are 10 key traits of what makes a great consultant...

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How to Differentiate Your Consulting Services and Get More Clients

>> Learn how to consistently attract your ideal clients and grow your consulting business < <

Hi. It’s Michael Zipursky from Consultingsuccess.com. Welcome to the Consulting Corner, where consultants learn how to consistently attract their ideal clients and significantly increase their fees.

Now more than ever, and in the day and age that we are in, there’s a greater need for consultants to differentiate themselves. How are you doing at that right now? Do you feel as if you are differentiating yourself and your business well enough?

It’s kind of like that book Where’s Waldo, the classic page filled with all different types of people and animals and items – whatever it might be. And in the middle of it all is Waldo, the guy with the striped red and white shirt.

How-Differentiate-Your-Consulting-Services

Maybe you know what I’m talking about. But even if you don’t, I hope that you recognize the need to differentiate your business from that of your competitors. There are three specific ways that I’d like to offer you today that can help you move towards differentiating your business in a more powerful way.

If you don’t have a website, if you don’t have an online profile, then they’re not even going to find you.

Image is everything

The first way to set yourself apart is through your brand and design. A recent study by Hinge found that over 80% of buyers of consulting services are going online to find consultants and experts. Now, just think about that. When a buyer is searching online for an expert – for a consultant such as yourself, what is the first thing that they’re going to potentially see? They’re going to see your website. If you don’t have a website, if you don’t have an online profile, then they’re not even going to find you.

Having an impressive, professional and powerful website or online presence that really conveys and positions you and your brand as an authority and an expert is critical.

Yet far too many consultants do a poor job of this. Continue Reading

3 Easy Steps to Create a Consulting Advantage Over Your Competitors

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?

An-Easy-Consulting-Advantage

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.

How to Retain Long Term Consulting Clients

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’s had tremendous success at building their business.

Retain-Long-Term-Consulting-Clients

They’ve been able to attract significantly more clients and now they want to figure out what they should do to retain more of those clients and ultimately have a more successful relationships and business with their clients.

How can they retain more long-term clients?

In sharing that response with them, I thought I want to share with you as well. There are three things (well, there are many more but let me offer you three) that can really help you to retain more of your consulting clients.

Serve your clients at the highest level

Far too many consultants worry about only attracting new clients, so when they land a client they then spend more time trying to still bring on new clients and not enough time really trying to serve the client they have just won to ensure they get the highest level of service and results.

Most clients realize at least over time that it’s much better for them to have someone like that on their side even when they need to invest

Yet this one action of serving your clients to the highest levels, actually will do wonders for your business. Why? It will help you to retain your clients longer. If you’re serving your clients at a higher level, and you’re focused on producing results for them, they’re going to want to stay with you because you’re providing them with more value and more results. If they stay with you longer, come back to you for more projects, refer you to other people because they’re so ecstatic and satisfied with what you’ve provided to them, that’s great for your business.

Provide the latest information

The second thing that you should focus on is really to provide your clients with the latest information. Always look out for them. When you’re reading the newspaper, reading different blogs, research, trade publications, whatever it might be – always have your client in mind and share that information with them. Continue Reading

6 Tips to Create the Ultimate Consulting Landing Page

Your consulting website and landing pages shouldn’t just look good. They should be marketing assets.

Research has revealed that 92%+ of website visitors will never come back to your site again. Which means that it’s more critical than ever that your website converts.

In this infographic I’ve laid out 6 tips to creating the ultimate landing page for consultants.

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Marketing Consulting Services When You’re Too Busy with Client Work

Hi. It’s Michael Zipursky from ConsultingSuccess.com. Welcome back to the Consulting Corner, where consultants learn how to consistently attract their ideal clients significantly increase their fees.

Marketing-Consulting-Services

I received a question from a consultant recently asking me how they can create more time in their business to market their services, when they’re already so busy with current client work and projects. This is a question that I’ve received many times over the years from consultants, and I know it affects a lot of people.

The first thing to realize here – and this is really important – is that more clients don’t automatically mean more revenue.

I thought I’d take a few minutes here and share with you how you can solve this problem and actually benefit from a greater result.

More Clients ? More Revenue

The first thing to realize here – and this is really important – is that more clients don’t automatically mean more revenue.

With that in mind, there are three key points I want to share with you on how to solve this situation.

Focus on Value

There are two types of consulting businesses, if we generalize in models. The first is a volume-based consulting practice where you work with more clients at lower fee levels. The typical environment and result that that creates is one where you’re time-strapped because you’re so busy dealing with administration and complexities, interactions, and relationships with so many different clients that there is very little for you to do other things. It also requires a lot more infrastructure, and typically expenses.

The second model is a value-based consulting practice where you work with fewer clients at higher fee levels. This model tends to require significantly less infrastructure and resources but also it gives you a lot more time since you’re working with fewer clients and everything that comes with that. You’re also earning more because you’re charging at a higher fee level.

The key to making this work is to focus on attracting higher-value clients. Continue Reading

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