I’m in Mexico as I write this overlooking a beautiful tropical landscape. I just got off a call with a coaching client who has seen significant growth in their business.
One of the main reasons for this has been due to the work we’ve done around Client Selection — attracting ideal consulting clients.
Most consultants know they should only work with ideal clients, but few actually put this into practice.
Because it’s much easier to say yes to every opportunity with a dollar sign attached to it that comes your way.
You can’t create a streamlined and consistent process if you’re working with many different kinds of companies that don’t have similar criteria.
3 common reasons for taking on less than ideal clients are:
- Revenue – you increase your sales and revenue
- Schedule – you fill your schedule with work that creates a sense of accomplishment and productivity
- Experience – you develop your experience by working with more clients
The problem is revenue, schedule and experience aren’t one-sided.
There is much more to each one than what some see at face value.
In fact, more revenue isn’t always good.
There are many firms and professionals with high levels of revenue, yet their margin is so tight that they hardly make enough to enjoy life, never mind building wealth for themselves and their family.
Filling your schedule can be counterproductive.
If you’re spending all your time working on projects that you don’t enjoy, aren’t passionate about, or aren’t high-value, it doesn’t matter how busy you are – it’s the wrong kind of busy.
When your schedule is full with low-value clients or projects (those that aren’t ideal for you), it means you have less time available to accept and work on attracting ideal consulting clients.
Not all experience is helpful to build your business.
If your ideal client is a $50M manufacturing company and you’re accepting projects from $1M startups, the experience you’ll develop won’t be relevant or much desired by a larger organization.
So what are the best practices and the reasons why Client Selection and attracting ideal consulting clients is important in a consulting business?
Here are five:
- Develop and refine your process
The more you work with a specific type of client the better you’ll be able to develop a process that is repeatable. This creates more leverage, efficiency and creates better results for clients. You can’t create a streamlined and consistent process if you’re working with many different kinds of companies that don’t have similar criteria.
- Better case studies
When you work with your ideal clients and apply your process consistently you’ll achieve better results. This allows you to create great case studies that resonate with the same type of ideal client and leads to attracting ideal consulting clients and winning more business.
- Become a true expert
As you continue to work with your ideal client, you get to know their type of business, industry, challenges, opportunities and everything else – better than almost anyone else. That makes you an expert. And someone that ‘gets them’. Which means you become sought after. It is much more challenging to be seen as an authority and expert if you don’t have clear criteria for your ideal clients and who you choose to work with.
- Easier to say No, so you can say Yes
When you apply Client Selection to your business you’ll say No to the wrong opportunities. Which means you’ll be able to say Yes to the right ones.
Though scary when you’re in the early stages of your business, once applied this has a compounding impact and will help you to focus on, find and attract more ideal clients – without clogging up your business with the wrong types of consulting clients.
- Singular simple messaging
Consultants that don’t apply Client Selection try to be all things to all people. Their messaging and value propositions are weak and undifferentiated.
As a result, their marketing suffers and they feel like they are spinning their wheels and not seeing the level of traction or progress they desire. They’re not attracting ideal consulting clients — they’re attracting any type of client that will come their way.
Once you’ve committed to Client Selection your messaging becomes laser targeted. It points out and speaks to your ideal client.
It resonates better. It gets their attention and interest so they respond. Your marketing works better, you start to build a pipeline of opportunities and your business grows.
If you aren’t applying Client Selection to your business you have a huge opportunity waiting for you.
We work exclusively with consultants in our Coaching Program and guide them through this process, step-by-step, to attracting ideal consulting clients, earn higher fees, and win more proposals and business. If you’re interested, apply for a complimentary Strategic Planning Session to explore how together we can grow your consulting business.