3 Reasons to Push Past Your Fear and Become an Authority


It comes down to confidence.

I was speaking with a new client in the advertising industry. He wants to grow his business and attract more clients.

Focus on finding and getting in front of the decision maker. They are the ones that can hire you. That can write you the check.

One recommendation I offered is that he should start speaking at conferences and events in his industry.

He agreed the idea would help him to win clients.

And that it would further position him as an authority.

But he had a concern…

“Michael, the thing is…” The tone in his voice changed. “The people at these events will be VP and C-suite level and the highest position I’ve held is a Senior Manager.”

“And…?” I asked to have him share what he really wanted to know.

“Well…” he continued “I feel a bit uncomfortable, will they listen to me? Is it right for me to speak in front of people at that level?”

“Of course it is…” I said.

I went on to explain:

First, it’s natural to feel uncomfortable. If you always feel comfortable in everything you do it means you’re not leaving your comfort zone. You’re not pushing yourself. Passing boundaries and entering new growth stages.

Know that feeling is natural. Embrace it. Know that though it will feel hard as soon as you TAKE ACTION on the thing you feel fear about, that fear will melt. You will have conquered it. You will have grown.

Second, remember that your ideal clients don’t have your EXPERTISE. If they did, they wouldn’t need you. While they may have a higher position and title than you have had…though they may be older and have more years of work and life experience…they don’t have your LEVEL of experience and expertise in your area of specialization.

They look up to you. They may know the general landscape in your industry. They may even have some detailed knowledge. But most aren’t specialists and don’t have the DEPTH that you have. The expertise you’ve cultivated and developed. Continue Reading

Lessons from a Coffee Brand: Showing Your Important Clients the Love!


A couple of days ago I was downtown and had just finished up a small brainstorm and business meeting with a good friend of mine.

Before heading home I stopped by a local department store to pick up a new suitcase and an interesting thing happened.

You don’t have to go build them a million dollar coffee lounge but if you have a consulting client that you really appreciate there are many things you can do to show them you care.

While I was browsing around for some luggage I looked up for a second and saw a lively looking coffee bar. The café had an amazing design and aesthetic to it and was filled with happy looking people and a few baristas all deep into conversation.

For anyone who knows me, I’m a BIG coffee lover so I walked over to further investigate what was going on, and hopefully get myself a nice espresso and into the enjoyable looking conversation.

As I approached I saw a nicely designed sign reading “Nespresso” and asked one of the sharply dressed baristas if I could kindly get a cup of java but I also asked what this was all about. Continue Reading

Stay Away from This Marketing Trap


Are you falling right into the marketer’s trap?

Here’s how you can tell:

  • Are you constantly reading books, attending seminars, jumping on webinars?
  • Are you always looking for the latest strategy?
  • Are you excited by new trends and technologies?
  • Do you spend more time learning than you do applying what you learn?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a consultant is to believe that the more information you have the more successful you will be.

Realize that KNOWING what to do and actually DOING what you know are two very different things.

I get it. I can see how you’d feel that way. Marketers spend a great deal of resources blasting messages at you. They tell you that you NEED the latest ________ (fill in the blank with whatever it is they are offering).

The BIG Names Come Out

Then you might see some other “BIG” names online talking about how good the new product is. And that can get you feeling excited right?

Maybe you purchase what they’re offering. You don’t do much with it. It most often sits on a shelf or hard drive somewhere anyways, right?

Before you can really take ACTION on it the next ‘latest and greatest’ offer comes out. This time telling you WHY what you got before isn’t good enough. That can  be confusing. But the marketer has all kinds of proof, data and ‘facts’ to support their claims.

Now you end up getting the next product.

The cycle repeats itself. Continue Reading

10 Proven Marketing Tactics for Consultants and Coaches


“What type of marketing works best?” It’s a question I’m asked over and over again.

Each year we run our Marketing for Consultants survey which provides insight into this question.

I recently decided to ask some friends (who are consultants, coaches, and solo professionals) what type of marketing is working best for them.

Especially what I wanted to explore was ‘what type of marketing is generating the highest quality leads and opportunities?’

And ‘WHY they believe it works so well for them?’

Below you’ll find answers to these questions from 10 experts. I’ve also provided my thoughts on the responses and a BIG takeaway for you at the end of the post.

(If you enjoy the post please share it)

Hugh-Culver-1Hugh Culver


What type of marketing works best for you? I have been using webinars for five years, but only recently added a piece to the marketing formula that has really improved our results. Our new webinar formula is to schedule a full year of webinar dates, one per month. When I connect with someone who also serves the speaker/expert market I invite them to promote one of our dates. Because SOS is a monthly service, we can afford to be more generous with our partners. If I don’t have an affiliate lined up I run the webinar regardless off our list.

Why does it work so well? Each affiliate webinar grows our list and generates income for us and the partner – nothing new there. The trick I’m finding is to have the full year of dates already pre-booked. The set dates motivate the partner to take action and make a decision.

Laura-Ashley-TimmsLaura Ashley-Timms


What type of marketing works best for you? High end Business Development events – i.e. where we pay to attend a select event with guaranteed mutually chosen meetings with around 10-20 of our target corporate level clients (these are often from C-Suite level top FTSE 500 companies or Global equivalent) – held across UK or Europe.

Why does it work so well? It works because we mutually select each other – they get to see our passion and quality – we can follow it up and build on the relationship with other added value sessions

Stefan-DrewStefan Drew


What type of marketing works best for you? Leveraging “Creating Business Growth” the book [I co-authored with several other marketers] is bringing me in high value clients.

Why does it work so well? In a world full of white papers, social media posts and ebooks, a lot of serious business people in my niche still regard a physical book as being something that is only produced by people with expertise and authority.  So I’m emailing key decision makers in the £10-60m turnover section of my niche and telling them I’m sending them a copy of my book.  I also tell them that, unless they object, I’d like to set up a strategy meeting with them once they’ve read the book.  A week or so after sending the book I then phone them and check if they received the book and ask when they would like to meet. I also find most gatekeepers take me far more seriously as they’ve also seen the book.  In most cases they either get the decision maker on the phone for me or set up a date for a meeting with their boss. Continue Reading

Attract High-Paying Consulting Clients and Hit 400% Revenue Growth


Corrie Banks, President of Triskele Logistics and Consulting, has over 18 years of experience in the supply chain industry, which, along the way, is why she decided to start her own supply chain consulting firm. Triskele Logistics and Consulting focuses on continuous improvements and process improvements for supply chain companies, whether it’s a warehouse or trucking company, or a even a CPG company that requires assistance in optimizing their supply chain.

She was working on an hourly rate – trading time for dollars. The shift Corrie has made using Michael’s process has allowed her to land 3X more clients and grow revenues by 400%.


Before coming across Michael Zipursky’s coaching program, Corrie had one major client, and one smaller client where she was doing ad hoc work; the total contract size was $80-100K a year. Corrie was able to keep the lights on and keep moving forward, but her client base was not diversified, and she wasn’t positioned as an expert in her industry. She wanted to open doors and get people to understand who she was, what she could do, and what she was capable of, but wasn’t in a place where she felt that she could achieve any of those three goals—and had been trying to do so for over a year and a half.


Before working with Michael, Corrie would feel nervous and hesitant when trying to reach out and contact various people in the industry. She was unsure how to approach these people, and was even unsure about what to say. As a result, the meetings she did have would lead nowhere—they would be great meet and greets, but no opportunities would stem for Corrie from these meetings.

Michael offered a way to fix these problems through a change in Corrie’s value proposition. Instead of a general approach to all industries, Corrie started to take the time to frame and understand what potential clients were looking for and what their challenges were, and how her experience in those situations would be able to help provide a viable solution.

Michael also worked with Corrie so she felt more confident and go after the clients she wanted and that would truly value her expertise, rather than sticking to the smaller companies she would normally work with.


300% more clients and 400% more revenue

“Michael Zipursky is a great coach, leader and mentor. His process, the training 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

This change in strategy that Corrie learned has not only significantly changed how potential (and existing) clients approach her – they now seek her out for her expertise – it has even led to how people respond to Corrie over email. Before, Corrie would reach out to prospects via email and would have a very low response rate—now, the emails are concise, targeted and effective, and she gets responses right away. The confident and targeted conversations have led to three major results for Corrie: Continue Reading

5 Questions Every Consultant Should Ask


Is your quest for knowledge holding you back from success?

Strange question? Maybe, yet it’s an important one. Let me explain…

Many consultants find themselves constantly on the hunt for more information.

All the information in the world is simply information until you APPLY it and take ACTION on it by focusing on the right questions.

They devour blog posts, articles, newsletters, and books.

They feel EMPOWERED by the amount of information they collect.

With all this information it’s easy to FEEL that you have ALL THE ANSWERS.

That you KNOW exactly what you should be doing to grow your business.

The PROBLEM however is that the answers CAN only help you when you ASK the RIGHT QUESTIONS.

Because all the information in the world is simply information until you APPLY it and take ACTION on it by focusing on the right questions.

Here are 5 questions every growth-focused consultant should ask:

  1. What am I really working towards? Put another way, what is my real goal? If you can’t visualize what you’re working towards how can you get there? Driving without direction will unlikely get you to your destination.
  1. What am I world-class at? Rather than trying to be all-things to all-people what can you focus on that your clients’ want where the value you create is extraordinary?

Continue Reading

Current Client Value vs. New Client Value


All clients are valuable.

As consultants our job is to serve our clients and to provide them with value and results.

It’s far easier to win more business from an existing client than it is to win a new one.

We should leave them in a better place and in better condition than when we started working with them.

I’ve said for many years that as consultants we’re in the marketing business, not the consulting business.

Without a client – which comes as the result of marketing and promotion – we lack the opportunity to do the work we are skilled at.

Don’t Get Lost

One thing that gets lost in most conversations about consulting and marketing is the value of current clients.

Consultants often fail to realize the importance of marketing. And when they do they first turn to trying to attract new clients.

That action is accurate and prudent. However it often leaves an even greater opportunity neglected.

BIG Opportunity

And that opportunity is to grow your business through existing and current clients.

It’s far easier to win more business from an existing client than it is to win a new one.

Yet consultants often win a project, service the client and move their focus to the next client. Continue Reading

My Keynote Address and Speaking for Consultants


I recently gave a keynote for the Canadian Association of Certified Management Consultants. It was their annual award dinner and AGM held at the Hyatt Regency.

I’ve provided several workshops and trainings for the CMC. It’s a great group of people and this event was no different.

To grow you must leave your COMFORT zone. Push yourself directly into that fear until you’ve faced it DIRECTLY in the face and it no longer scares you.

At the end of the event one of the consultants came up to me and asked “Do you do this a lot? I mean, speaking, you’re very good at it? Do you have to practice a lot?”

Yes, it was a long question. I could sense the excitement on her face as she spoke.

My response: “I enjoy speaking.”

You see, I’ve never been ‘formally’ trained as a speaker. Neither have I ever taken a speaking class.

The consultant seemed very surprised. “Really? Wow…” she said.

“It feels natural…” I went on to tell her. Continue Reading

3 Ways to Disagree With Your Clients That They’ll Appreciate You For


We’d all like to be right 100% of the time and yet we know that happens about as often as it snows in Hawaii.

So what should you do when your client is wrong? How do you break the news to them?

Realize that most leaders aren’t surrounded by staff that ‘tell it like it is’. Instead they are often afraid to break any bad news with senior management.

Focus on the positive, not on the negative. Look at the challenge as an opportunity to fix and improve.

In an organization this often results in the leader believing things are okay when they really aren’t. This makes spotting the real problem even harder when the information the leader is receiving isn’t the whole truth.

If no problems exist and the business is humming along smoothly they wouldn’t need a consultant, would they?

You step in and have to break the bad news that things aren’t as rosy as the client believes…

Here are 3 ideas to consider:

1. Establish how you work – at your first meeting tell the client that you’re going to be very honest with them. That much of what you uncover will be positive, however, if they’re company is like others you’ve worked with before, you’ll also find room for improvement. Continue Reading

When a Buyer Asks “What Is Your Fee?”


Consultants have a belief that they ALWAYS the answer they believe the buyer wants to hear.

When a buyer asks “What is your fee?” early on in a conversation the consultant feels compelled to give a response.

If you respond right away and say “$7500” you’re playing the buyer’s game and you’ve lost control.

There is no rule or law that states that you have to answer a question with what you believe the buyer wants to hear.

Instead, give the appropriate response at all times.

When you’re early on in a sales conversation and a buyer asks about your fee tell them “I don’t know.”

Why give such a response? Because you honestly don’t know! Continue Reading