5 Types of Bad Consulting Clients and What To Do About Them

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We’ve all had bad consulting clients. It’s part of being in business. What’s most important is that you know how to identify the situation as quickly as possible, and resolve it.

Here are 5 types of bad clients consultants encounter:

1) The Line Crosser Client:

You know the one. The client that believes since they are paying you that they own all your time. They call you at all hours of the day and night and send you a barrage of emails and expect a response as soon as they’ve hit ‘send’.

Solution: Set clear boundaries from the outset. Let the client know what they can expect of you and what you expect from them to make the project a success. Establish a relationship as a trusted advisor, not servant at their beck and call. If you’ve failed to do this from the get go, let your client know that everything as agreed is moving forward with their project and that they don’t need to worry. And let them know that you have other clients and a business to run as well. Clarify the expectations.

One meeting they are thrilled with the work you’re doing and everything is going great in their business. The next time you walk into their office they act like the walls are falling down.

2) The Spellchecker Client:

These types of clients are such a nuisance. They are typically small minded and don’t see the bigger picture. They spend all of their time looking for the negative in every situation. They often mean well, their issue is that they are simply focusing on the wrong things.

Solution: If a client makes a comment, thank them for it, and let them know that you’re glad that 99% is where it needs to be and that both of you should stay focused on the most critical areas of the project. Because at the end of the day, a better result will be seen when everyone is focusing on the areas where the greatest value can be created. Not on small edge cases that don’t impact the project in any significant way.

3) The Mood Swing Client:

These kinds of clients are often uncomfortable to be around. You never know what they are going to say or do. One meeting they are thrilled with the work you’re doing and everything is going great in their business. The next time you walk into their office they act like the walls are falling down. These are the same type of clients that will say one thing and then do another. They make it hard to complete a project successfully, not for your lack of skill, rather because of their lack of focus and consistency. Continue Reading

Why This Consultant’s Workout Failed…

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I’m in the gym by 6am most days.

Not too long ago I saw one of my neighbors come in a few minutes after me.

I said “good morning!”

He looked surprised that I was there so early.

Don’t get caught up thinking a fancy plan with several pages is what you need.

At that time in the morning I’m focused on my workout. ‘Chatting’ isn’t on my list of priorities so I went back to my workout.

At about 6:30 I said “see you later” on my way to leave.

The following day I saw my neighbor again at the gym. And again he came in a few minutes after me.

This time as I was getting to leave around 6:30 (yes – my workouts are usually about 30 minutes long) and said “see you later” to my neighbor. He looked up and said “You’re done already? That’s quick.”

I responded, “Yeah, gotta keep it moving” and then got going.

My neighbor continued to come for a few more days and then he stopped showing up.

He’s around, there’s nothing wrong with his health. He simply ‘gave up’ on his routine.

This event reminded me of how consultants approach marketing…

Some show up, plan a big ‘workout’, do it for a short period of time and then give up.

You need to learn exactly what to do to get from where you are now to where you want to get to.

They fool themselves into believing that having some elaborate plan will help them be successful. Continue Reading

How Great Leaders Excel

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Have you ever felt that your lack of knowledge in a specific area is holding you back from attaining success?

I’m going to share with you a fascinating story on this point in just a moment.

Start learning everything you can about the area you want to improve in. Talk with people that have successfully achieved what you want to achieve.

Have you ever had an opportunity, a project you really wanted to take on but didn’t, for fear that you weren’t knowledgeable enough?

Well then, let me introduce you to Joe Jimenez. Joe is the CEO of Novartis, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

I read about his story in a great book “Future Thinkers” published by McGraw Hill and authored by Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove.

Mr. Jimenez faced a huge challenge when he took a leadership role at the giant pharma company – he wasn’t a scientist.

Now, just imagine that. Here is a man with no science background tasked with leading the strategy of a global $220 Billion science based company.

To become successful in his position, here’s what Joe Jimenez did:

He clearly understood it was critical that he learn as much as possible about the science part of their business, from medicines and molecules to mechanisms. Continue Reading

3 Critical Questions for Consultants & the Must Have Skill Set

What is the most important skill that a consultant most possess?

I’ve just created this video to share with you why this skill is so critical to your success.

And I’ve offered you three ways to ask your ideal clients better questions – you’ll see why this matters in the video : )

If you enjoy the video and would like more videos let me know in the comments below. And please share it with your friends and colleagues.

The most important skill you must have as a consultant is…

Watch the video to find out.

In the video I also share with you three 3 questions consultants often ask clients and why they should be avoided.

I provide you with alternative questions that are far more effective.

Breaking Past Boundaries

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This lesson was painful.

I literally had to stretch and feel discomfort to learn it.

I’m talking about my yoga practice. But the lesson has profound impact on your business and many aspects of life.

Three evenings a week I head to the local yoga studio. One of my favorite practices is called Yin.

Where you stretch and hold a position for 5 minutes.

The first few seconds are fine. Then as the seconds tick away and the stretch deepens I start to hit my edge.

This is the point where my mind is telling me to give up. That it can’t go any further.

Don’t let the boundaries that first appear to be in your way slow you down or stop you from getting to where you want to go.

Yet, my mind is trying to fool me. Because as I persist, relax, breathe and hold my position my mind realizes it has lost and my body eases deeper into the pose.

Ask any serious runner and they’ll tell you that it isn’t only about speed. It’s about endurance and knowing how to deal with the thoughts that besiege you as the pain of running kicks in. As your body feels like it’s shutting down. But it’s not. Because as soon as you push aside those thoughts and keep going, the pain you felt seems to disappear. Continue Reading

Consulting Mindset and Model of the Most Successful

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Each week I speak with 20-30 consultants. These include my clients, coaching students and those wanting to join my coaching program.

It’s become clear to me that what separates those that will be successful from those that won’t boils down to two things.

The Mindset of Success

The first is mindset. Consultants that want to be successful – they want more clients, a higher income and more freedom – can only achieve this once they have chosen the mindset of success.

In order to reach that higher level of success (regardless of what success is for you) requires a different model.

The mindset of success occurs when you decide to stop waiting for everything to line up perfectly before taking action. Decisions that you may have put off for one reason or another before, start being made on the spot.

The mindset of success is when you understand that being uncomfortable is how you challenge yourself. The most successful consultants I’ve worked with and coached are those that know they must push themselves to step out of their comfort zones because staying where they are and keeping the status quo means they’ll continue to see the same results they always have.

Model to Reach the Next Level

The second critical factor in becoming successful is having the right model.

Too often I hear consultants say “When I have more clients I’ll invest in my business” or “When I get more money I’ll take a holiday.”

They fool themselves into believing that all of a sudden something will magically change that will deliver the result they want.

If you’ve been trying to get more clients or achieve anything in life for a while and haven’t been seeing the results you want – doing more of what you’ve been doing isn’t going to give you better results.

In fact, it means you’ll just end up working harder to see the same results you always have seen. Continue Reading

Business Growth Around the World

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You’re good at what you do.

In fact, you’re one of the leading authorities in your region.

You know you should be getting more clients. And that your business shouldn’t be susceptible to ups and downs

Yet, for some reason, you’re not able to get that momentum in your business that you crave.

You know you should be getting more clients. And that your business shouldn’t be susceptible to ups and downs…because you’re tired of going from one project and then having a gap and scrambling to find the next.

Now imagine that you’re going through all of this half way around the world from your home country.

Howard Bryant is one of Asia’s leading retail consultants. Originally from London, Howard joined my coaching program to take his business to the next level.

You can hear how he’s doing it, and how the strategies he’s using work regardless of industry or country, in this short interview:

To learn more about the coaching program and how you too can land more clients and double your income, visit the Coaching for Consultants page.

Want More Consulting Clients Avoid This Marketing Mistake

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I spoke with a consultant the other day that had it all wrong.

It’s not his fault. Many people make the same mistake he did.

He was blown away when I told him that 95% of my clients spend very little on ‘marketing’. Many spend zero. The most effective forms of marketing don’t cost much.

And it was costing him dearly in lost clients and wasted money.

He shared with me all the different types of marketing he was trying. From Facebook Ads to Google Adwords, print advertisements, direct mail letters and postcards.

After spending several thousands of dollars and several months of his time – he had no new business or clients to show for it.

I told Barry that there was nothing wrong with the types of marketing he was doing. It was his approach.

He was shooting blindly at a target he couldn’t clearly see. When your approach to marketing is ‘spray and pray’ the results tend to be lackluster.

Instead, I suggested to Barry that he stop thinking about ‘marketing’ and start focusing on his ideal client.

I asked him:

1) Who is your ideal client?

2) What is it that they REALLY need/want that you can provide?

3) Where can you most effectively reach them?

4) What message will cause them to take the next step?

Barry and I then went through a process of breaking each one of these questions down.

Things started to become clear.

And that’s when the next problem for Barry came up. Continue Reading

Leading By Example

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It’s midweek and the sun is beaming in through your windows. The room where you work from is getting hotter every minute. Your friend calls and suggests you go out for a drink and enjoy the sunshine.

What do you do?

Just last week you added a note in your schedule book to pick up the phone and call 10 prospective clients to setup meetings. You know it’s what you need to do, but as the time to make the calls nears, you decide to work on your website and update your social media profiles.

Our integrity as consultants, leaders and business owners (even has human beings) is determined by how we treat others and ourselves.

You’re thinking this will help just as much. Will it really?

You signed up for a program to help you improve your skills so you can become more successful. You expected overnight success and it hasn’t come. You’ve decided to call it quits and tell your instructor that the ‘program isn’t a fit’.

Is that honestly the case, or is there another reason giving up?

You promise to send payment to your contractor. Except they haven’t been performing the way you’d like them to. It could be them, or it could be your failure to train and teach them. But now you’re finding a way to hold back sending the payment you promised them.

Do they deserve that? Does it even matter?

Our integrity as consultants, leaders and business owners (even has human beings) is determined by how we treat others and ourselves. Continue Reading

4 Points Consulting Clients Care Most About

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Your ideal consulting clients, the buyers of your services, don’t care about your methodology.

Fancy brochures with a colorful diagram mean nothing.

It’s not about YOU, it’s about THEM believing in you and trusting that you’re the right person to get them from A to B.

Presentation slides with process maps are futile.

Why? Because your clients don’t care about what you’re going to DO, they care about the RESULT.

They want to know:

  1. That you are an expert
  2. That you understand their specific situation
  3. That you will deliver the result promised
  4. That they can trust you

The more time you spend communicating your value and addressing each of these, the more likely they are to hire you.

The secret to make this work is asking the right questions. Continue Reading