The consulting services industry is volatile, far ranging and cyclical. The consultant’s expertise is at the core of consultancy. Qualified expertise may get the buyer’s attention, but when it comes to sealing the deal, nothing bears more clout than a verifiable record of accomplishment, which translates into real value. When it comes to marketing consulting services, the question is how to present your expertise and record of accomplishments in a consistent, saleable manner.
Consultants without a sound, well-considered marketing plan will not succeed. While there are many valid economic and strategical reasons to utilize consultants, buyers have become wary. As an unregulated industry where anyone can claim to be an expert, consulting services tend to be viewed with skepticism. In difficult economic times, consulting services make sense, but no buyer can afford to make a mistake.
The information age has over-saturated the media waves to the point that most potential buyers turn a deaf ear to solicitations. Consultants must be result-oriented and they must provide the buyer quantitative, hard core, discernible value. A consultant needs to apply these components to their own marketing plan and strategy.
The primary goal of this strategy must be to get the consultant’s message through the maze of solicitations facing every buyer. Once in the door, the consultant’s marketing plan must clearly differentiate the provider’s expertise and value from all competitors. The competitors are out there, knocking on doors, filling the airwaves and internet and burning the telecommunication avenues. Competitors are out there, getting jobs providing consulting services and closing deals.
There are good consultants and there are unqualified consultants. Some will succeed, many will not. Successful marketing of consulting services focuses on the two proven commodities; the product and the value. Everything the consultant says, writes, designs, executes and reports must clarify and enhance the substance and value of the product. These efforts must be completely consistent and pointed to the future where the consultant will accumulate an invaluable book of references.
In a world where each dissatisfied client tells 13 prospective clients, the most powerful consulting connections come from referrals. Because of this fact, a consultant must always be on top of their game. Every social occasion, every business occasion, every meeting and every gathering is a potential door opener.
When thinking about marketing consulting services you need a solid strategy that allows meaningful follow through for the above situations. Distinctive business cards, unique letterhead, informational web logs, factual web sites and compelling advertising must be in place. The importance of a confident telephone presence, a professional visual impression and a command of the written word as well as a command of substantive details in the consultant’s field of expertise cannot be understated.
As the new age of consulting moves on, one age-old adage rings true; first impressions last a long time. Consulting services that succeed make a lasting and powerful first impression and support that impression up with coordinated and consistent marketing. So, let’s get at it!