The financial alchemy of your consulting services could be the deciding factor of whether your consultancy business survives or thrives during tough economic climates. Think about the angle of using a testimonial guideline to build your reputation for excellent customer service and relations. The focus of any business is the customer. When all is said and done, services aren’t sold – they are bought.
Discovering The Needs And Expectations Of Your Consulting Client
To start off the proccess of getting a good testimonial on track ask questions and obtain as much specific information as possible. Keep in mind that your customer is probably a busy professional with a lot on their mind. They may not have spent the time to focus and clarify their own ideas. Ask questions like:
- What are your main reasons/goals/objectives for needing a small business consultant?
- What results do you expect from a consulting service?
- How do you intend to measure the results from a consultancy against your expectations?
Delivering A Fully Communicated Consulting Strategy
The parameters of the consulting role and job have now been defined upfront. The communication strategy between consultant and customer has been established. This means little, or no misunderstanding. Once the work has been completed, you can give the customer an overview of the objectives and an analysis of the results obtained.
As you again ask specific questions, you will receive detailed feedback on your performance. Gently coax the right kind of information from the customer by asking open-ended questions. You could ask the question, “were you pleased with our service?” The busy business professional is probably going to say something like, “yes, of course, otherwise I would’nt pay you”.
Try reframing the question and asking, “why was our service of value to you?” . The customer has the overview and analysis in front of them, so they will probably quote directly from your report. The next question could be something like, “how did the services of a small business consultant help you?” Alternatively you could quote something from the analysis and ask the client to restate what you delivered. Either way you will have more than just a yes or no type answer.
Penetrate Your Consulting Market Niche
The information obtained from these questions can be typed or written up as a feedback report. Clients can be asked to endorse the document in the most relevant way. A testimonial is usually a testimony to past performance. With this kind of strategic approach, you create a current testimonial of your on-going committment to customer service and relations at the beginning, during, and at the end of the project. This becomes your consultancy mission, which in turn leads to a unique advantage over competitors in the same, or similar markets.
As a business consultant you are ensuring that you have testimonials that reflect and add value to your work ethic. These can now easily be used when making new presentations, or to generate referrals to more customers in a specific market.
Testimonials now become a powerful consultants marketing tool, with specific details that customers in your niche market can relate to. The bottom-line result of any business tool is to generate more customers. As a consultancy business you will stand out as a marketing beacon and ensure your own career success in this market arena.