Consultants must always be forward-thinking and progressive. Prospective clients are inundated with brochures, web sites, e-mail and correspondence that it all seems generic. Your consultancy needs to be fresh. Consultants who use outdated cliché-ridden pitches are viewed skeptically. Business consulting clients want original solutions and they expect that originality to emanate through the marketing approach.
The following marketing terms and tactics can work but be careful how you word them and when you use them.
- Credentials – Most clients will be more interested in your accomplishments than your education. Few things speak louder than a successful track record loaded with references for projects in the client’s field.
- Service Responsiveness – Clients do not tolerate consultants who are not timely and on-budget. Clients demand responsiveness and you will have the opportunity to state your policy if your product and value get you in the door.
- Quality service – This is a claim of every web site, every brochure and every piece of correspondence. It is also a term that turns off good clients. These clients will demand good service. Find another way to differentiate your consulting services from the masses.
- Importance of the Client – This turns off many clients and indicates that there are “special” deals for “special clients”. This marketing approach opens the door for wheeling and dealing and quality clients are not interested. They want value.
- Best Price – Value is much more important than price. Focus on your value as a consulting service rather than on discounting your service. The “best price” offer will not impress quality clients.
- Methods, tools and approaches – If you attempt to market your consulting services as “state-of-the-art” or “newest and best technology” you will inevitably be outdated. Focus on the quality of your consulting services and your ability to stay at the forefront of trends. Clients want a consulting practice that is always on top of the game and realizes that it is an ongoing effort.
- Testimonials and References – Testimonials do work and references are valuable but timing is everything. The most effective way to way to present your testimonials and references is in a collective and all-inclusive format. Every consulting firm has selective references.
- Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt – trying to instill these elements into your marketing planning and approach will leave clients shaking their heads. There are plenty of consultants with positive remedies. That is the better approach.
Have confidence in your newfound, positive marketing approach and leave the outdated clichés for the other guys. Have no fear, they will never disappear. Those dated pitches will be on the desk right next to your new, vibrant marketing plan. With all things equal, yours will be read, the others will not.