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Clients Want “Out”, Not “In”

By Michael Zipursky

When you’re talking about what you do, or when a client wants to know how you can help them, think output, not input.

Consultants often make the mistake of thinking about (and as a result talking about) what they do instead of what the end result they produce.

If you want to connect with your ideal client you need to stop talking about what it is that you do, and instead focus on what you produce and what the result will be.

You might provide a business plan, do customer research, hold focus groups, and recommend strategies to help your clients.

But that’s not what they want, nor is it why they hire you.

If you want to connect with your ideal client you need to stop talking about what it is that you do, and instead focus on what you produce and what the result will be.

A business consultant offers clients a service to help create their business plan. That’s the input.

The client having more confidence with a solid plan, a plan full of proven time-tested recommendations and strategies to follow, the ability to win more Government grants or funding with the business plan – those are the outputs.

Inputs are all about what you do. Outputs are all about what your client wants.

This shift can have a profound impact on your business.

The consultants I work with in my coaching program learn this quickly. Once they focus on the outputs – the value they provide – and work it into their marketing – they start getting greater feedback from potential clients and a lot more interest in their services.

Question: To clarify this for yourself, I welcome you to write down in the comments what your Outputs and Inputs are – and if you have a question or thought on that. I’ll respond to each comment.

10 thoughts on “Clients Want “Out”, Not “In”

  1. Jon McGowan says:

    hmm… “I work with clients to establish highly-effective Program Management Offices that manage and deliver the kinds of projects organizations need to stay competitive.”…


    “I deliver competitive advantages to clients in the form of highly responsive Enterprise Project Management that can adapt to whatever pressures and priorities the company needs.”

    … I don’t know? what do you think?

    • Omar Albashir says:

      What if i add the “ins” as a further explanation. Most of my clients curious and wish to know more about methods, after having learnt the services, especially when they are new clients and you wish to connect.

      • Omar – that could work. The first step however is making sure that you address what your clients really want – the things most on their mind – and those are almost always problems and challenges they are having as I wrote above. Making a list of both might be helpful.

    • Jon – what are the main outputs – the end result your client wants most? Most often it’s a problem they have and want a solution for.

  2. Maggie says:

    We work with clients to improve their ratings and hence their ability to attract placements?

    • Sounds good Maggie, but it’s not clear to me what business in you’re in from this statement.

      • Maggie says:

        We work with Children’s Homes providers to help improve their outcomes hence improve placement viability.

        • Maggie – that sounds good. What are the outcomes and can you be more specific on the ‘placement viability’?

  3. CeeJay Young says:

    I am about to launch my study skills program for students exiting elementary school going into high school and students within high school education struggling to good grades within there classroom. The output for me is giving these students the study tools they need to success however input is my business offers study skills sessions.

    • CeeJay – be as specific as you can around the actual results they will get from working with you.

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