7 Tips on How to Sell Services to Existing Clients

Selling Consulting Services

When consultants think about growing their practice, most lean towards client acquisition.

While there’s no arguing that attracting and landing new consulting clients will be a critical factor in your success. There is however an often forgotten and more profitable option to grow your consulting business – selling more to your existing clients.

Asking your clients what challenges they are facing, what they’d like to have but currently don’t, allows you to respond with a solution or recommendations. This often leads to new work.

Selling to existing clients is far easier than selling to new ones as they already know you and trust you. Plus, it costs less and therefore makes it highly profitable.

In today’s post I’m going to share with you seven ways you can sell more services to your existing clients:

Go 80/20
The Pareto Principle states (in this case) that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your clients. Which clients are you focusing on? Which ones are you giving your highest level of care and attention to? Which ones are most likely to continue working with you and be open to hiring you to help them with additional projects? Look at your client list and find your most valuable buyers.

Give New Ideas to Grow THEIR Business
Show your clients new ideas and how they can be used to build their business. By doing so they are very likely to hire you to help them with the new project. You already know their business, industry, strengths and weaknesses (they are an existing client after all) so you’re well positioned to make these recommendations. Continue Reading

Tips to Deal With Consulting Clients That Resist Change


Here’s a consulting question I received as part of the “Ask Michael” series:

“Hi Michael,

I’m David and I provide marketing consultation services to professional photographers over at Salevoke Marketing, mostly to wedding and portrait photographers.

I’ve been a long-time reader and have purchased your consulting book and I absolutely find them insightful and highly useful in the real-world.

My question revolves around customer’s resistance to change. 

With my client base, I have to say that about 50% of those who eventually chose to engage with my services after receiving a series of free content marketing (how-to emails, business strategy discussions, articles on common mistakes, etc.) when they opt-in have the tendency to resist trying solutions even after they’ve agreed that the strategy was sound and it addresses their current problems.

The go through the acknowledgement of their business problem and have decided to find solutions, but due to various concerns that they have, decide to go back to the “”I don’t know if can or if it will work”" phase. Continue Reading

Top Brand Building Strategies for Consultants


Here’s a consulting question I received as part of the “Ask Michael” series:

“Hi Michael,

As I build my brand, Phire Power, I often wonder what are the top 5 brand building techniques, systems of actions that I should be addressing daily / weekly.

Could you share your experience in this area in relation to BCBuzz and how each of those things related to business growth, whether it be sales, profit or enquiry.

Thank Michael, for the opportunity to ask you this question, and for being a valuable resource that I use daily.



Hi Jeff, great question. There are many tactics you can use to build your brand. Here are a few:

  • Blogging
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Write a book
  • Presentations
  • Radio
  • TV
  • Etc…

Each one of the above are examples of channels you can use to build your brand. Here’s the thing Jeff…it doesn’t matter which channel you use. They can all be effective. Continue Reading

Hello Consulting Success, Goodbye Business Consulting Buzz!


Like the new look?

By now you’ve likely noticed that Business Consulting Buzz has become ConsultingSuccess.com. We’ve been working on this change for a while, and I want to share with you the back story.

Why the Change?

Responsive Design
First and foremost it was time for the website to update its look. While we often got compliments on the design of the previous site, it wasn’t responsive. As more and more people are accessing websites from their mobile phones and tablets, it was important that we make the new site work for all devices.

Consulting Success is now on a consistent domain name, consultingsuccess.com, and the brand feels a lot happier.

While we originally selected the consulting-business.com domain name with SEO in mind, over time that has become less important. Our brand wasn’t as consistent as we wanted it to be. On one hand, we called the site Business Consulting Buzz, and on the other, we had our domain name consulting-business.com.

Consulting Success is now on a consistent domain name, consultingsuccess.com, and the brand feels a lot happier. Continue Reading

How to Become a Consultant While Working Full-Time


Here’s a consulting question I received as part of the “Ask Michael” series:


One of my greatest concerns about incorporating and starting my own biz is loss of access to unemployment benefits and jobs should I decide to re-enter corporate America if the biz does not do as well as expected financially.

I’ve seen some peers get laid off, start their own biz, lose unemployment benefits, access to corporate jobs because they see you started your own company, so they don’t want to hire you corporately anymore, so while you’re waiting for the biz to grow, financial survival has been hard for some.

Your thought, tips, ideas on moving through this dangerous maze during a very difficult economic time?


Hi Charles,

This is a common situation and question I get. It sounds like you’re unsure whether consulting is right for you. You have hesitations in jumping into the profession full-time.

One idea for you is to start consulting on the side while you still have your corporate job. Continue Reading

Working with Consulting Organizations


Here’s a consulting question I received as part of the “Ask Michael” series:


I started my own one man consulting company a year ago and have had some good early success. My question deals with how I would go about finding consulting organizations who bring people on board in a freelance or contract role?


Stan “

Stan, it sounds like you’re looking to create strategic alliances with other organizations.

The best approach to this is to do your research and find larger consulting firms that do exactly what you’re looking for. Continue Reading

How to Upsell to a Seminar Audience

Upsell Seminar

Here’s a consulting question I received as part of the “Ask Michael” series:


What techniques get the best results for upsell to a seminar audience?

Situation: business owners attend a low- or no-cost introductory seminar containing good, interesting, valuable content and are expecting a pitch of some sort. What is the most effective, least tacky way of introducing services?

Regards, Steve”

Steve, great question. Most of us are tired of hype filled events and promotions. None of us want to be sold to. But many of us are prepared to buy.

Tell them what you’re offering, who it’s for and who it isn’t for. 90% content or more and 10% or less sales pitch.

The best approach I’ve found for this is to make sure that your seminar content focuses on the core problem your ideal consulting clients (hopefully that’s your audience) has.

Throughout the seminar provide valuable and educational information.

The result is that your audience will clearly see you as an authority and expert.

Then near the end of the event you can make your offer. Keep it short and to the point.

Tell them what you’re offering, who it’s for and who it isn’t for. 90% content or more and 10% or less sales pitch.

I just came back from an event where a best-selling author couldn’t stop ‘hinting’ the audience that they should buy his book throughout his whole presentation. Some people didn’t mind this approach, others really disliked it.

My preference is to over deliver in your presentation and then make a clear offer to people that shows they’ll get even more value with you when they take the next step.

How to Pollinate a Chilli and Take Your Marketing to the Next Level


I have several plants in my office. One is a red chilli plant. I like spicy food and I got this chilli plant one day.

Sometimes all you need is to step outside your business and get help. An expert perspective can bring you clarity and help you overcome the challenges you’re having.

For two years this plant has produced one, maybe two chillies a year. Serious disappointment.

I water it and made sure to place it in an area with plenty of sunshine. The conditions should be good for growth, or so I thought.

While the plant has nice green leaves every year, it wasn’t bearing great ‘fruit’. As you can guess, I’m no gardener.

The truth is, I thought there must be wrong with the plant or the environment that was just hold it back from reaching its full potential.

The other day I decided enough was enough. It was time to figure out what was going on.

I asked Judy, an extraordinary gardener, what was wrong. She asked me, “have you pollinated the flowers?”

As she’s saying this, I’m thinking, “pollinate? what??” Continue Reading

How to Get Clients: 3 Step Case Study


On a coaching call today I spoke with a seasoned European executive.

For confidentiality I’ll call him Dino.

Dino has over 20 years experience running multi-million dollar businesses.

The best way to combat this is to offer them educational and valuable information and materials that demonstrates you’re an authority and expert in your field.

He knows his industry well and used to earn a sizeable paycheck.

Today Dino is a consultant working hard to build his business. Many of his steps are right on the mark. I have little doubt that he’ll be successful.

But during our call it became clear that his approach was slightly off course and needed some correction.

Dino was starting his marketing sequence by calling and then sending a letter with an offer for a free consultation to his target audience.

When you’re marketing to your ideal clients the process generally goes like this:

  1. Get their attention
  2. Earn their trust
  3. Make them an irresistible offer

Dino had part of step one right, but he completely missed step 2. He went right for the offer without earning his ideal clients’ trust. Continue Reading

20 Top Consulting Firms and Consultants


As consultants, big results are great and exciting. But just as important is the continual, every day persistent work toward a goal — and a refusal to deliver anything but the best — that is the hallmark of a great consultant. While we usually focus on the work of independent consultants and small consulting firms, we thought it would be a good idea to share what some of the larger companies are up to.

I suppose my work reflects who I am. I am naturally curious, and I like to ask questions, look at things from many angles and to constantly learn new things.

Consulting Magazine’s annual consultant issue profiles consultants at the top of their game. Below are 20 of the top consultants and their advice for success, as quoted in The Top 25 Consultants, 2013.

Johan Aurik, A.T. Kearney: Aurik is the Managing Partner and Chairman of the Board at A.T. Kearney, a firm that has grown both its revenue and its network by more than a third in the past five years. He also is the European leader of the consumer industries and retail practice, as well as unit lead of A.T. Kearney’s operation in Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Kearney has used his nearly 25 years of consulting experience in the energy, transportation, consumer and retail industries to assist the firm’s growth — a growth he says is about collaboration and culture.

“We are so collaborative and clients love that about us,” he says. “Everyone has smart people and everyone has a global network,” he says. “Ultimately, it comes down to how you can use your culture to attract and keep the best people and achieve high-impact result for clients. Culture is a key strategic driver for us.”

Scott Claus, Capco: Claus is Partner at Capco and leader of its Technology Group in North America. In his role, he helps leaders assess, rebuild and streamline their IT processes. Capco has 20 offices on four continents and has worked with or is currently working with nearly three-quarters of the world’s global financial service institutions.

Claus has over 18 years of consulting experience with leading financial organizations. His experience and Capco’s client-oriented philosophy are what keeps clients satisfied.  “We’re capable of rolling up our sleeves to deliver complex technology work to our clients. I really enjoy the leadership aspect of my role within the practice, working with a client on an engagement and leading them through troubled times. I find I’m at my best guiding people in the most difficult situations, bringing a level of creativity to solving challenging problems.”   Continue Reading

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