Consultants Shouldn’t Blow Smoke

For consultants there are really only two things of importance: the results they generate for their clients and their reputation.

The other day Sam and I went to listen to a famous marketing legend talk about his business and the training course his company offers.

Going into this presentation we knew there would be some sales talk. No matter, we weren’t interested in buying anything, but we were interested in meeting this legend and learning from his experiences.

The first thing we were told when we walked in was that this wasn’t a ‘sales presentation.’ Clearly that wasn’t possible. But we hoped the degree of selling would be kept to a minimal as the company even mentioned on the registration event page that this wouldn’t be all about ‘making the sale’.

So what happened? Of course, a large part of the presentation was salesy. I can’t blame the organizers or the marketing man behind all of this – clearly to make a sale you need to sell.

However, if you’re going to tell people this won’t be a sales event and then go on making it one by requesting for ‘the sale’ several times … not only does it become a sales event – your words become a lie.

I know that sounds harsh, but consultants really only have their reputation. The instant you lose trust with your clients, colleagues and the public, is the moment your business goes downhill.

Your integrity is integral to your success. Foster it, promote it, protect it and keep it. Because once it’s gone baby, it’s gone!

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  • Markus

    Great article. Really enjoyed it and so true! Keep up the posts!

  • This is a major pet peeve of mine. So many people pitching themselves as "gurus" seem to be more interested in their own success than that of their clients. While it's important to share your success and be able to illustrate for clients and prospects how they can benefit from your expertise, there is a line. When someone crosses it, their self-promotion turns me off and they lose credibility in my mind.