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Mindset Mistake of Established Consultants

By Michael Zipursky


Today I want to talk with you about a mindset that is incredibly important for established consultants.

The mindset is what I call Foot on the Pedal.

It becomes very important when your consulting business is taking off, when things are going well, when you have plenty of clients and plenty of opportunities surrounding you.

The foot on the pedal mindset is essential. Here’s what it’s all about…

Let’s write it down, so foot on the pedal. Now, foot on the pedal. This is what it refers to. As your business is moving along, you’re seeing growth.

The reality is it’s probably a lot more up and down to get to this point but as it’s going … you find yourself in a good place, the typical reaction for most consultants when they get to this place is they doing opposite of foot on the pedal.

They take their foot off the pedal.

They start to coast. They say, “You know what, I don’t need to do as much marketing. I don’t need to follow up with as many people or work on my outreach or doing sales activities and things of that nature because I’ve made it.

Things are going well. I’m just going to serve my existing clients. I don’t really need to worry about getting in front of new clients and finding new opportunities,” because it’s not top priority for them anymore. Their top priority is serving their existing clients.

That makes sense. As a consultant, you always want to be serving your existing clients. That’s your number one focus.

That’s who you have responsibility to, to deliver for. That being said, you never want to take your foot off the pedal completely because if you do, then … Well, I shouldn’t say never.

You might do it for periods of time a little bit but if you do it too much, if you let your foot off the pedal for too long and you’re just coasting, then, essentially, what’s happening is you’re becoming complacent.

You’re just allowing your current success to dictate your future but that success alone that you’re having right now isn’t going to necessarily create the same level of success or greater for you in the future.

With that in mind, what you want to do is have this mindset of foot on the pedal so that before, maybe if this was the pedal, before, maybe you were pushing it down all the way to the ground.

We’ll make that pedal stand a little bit more there.

Maybe you’re pushing it all the way to the ground. You had a lot of energy that was being done on your marketing and on your sales and on your [inaudible 00:03:01] and activities but if you take your foot completely off the pedal, you come up to here, just completely off, then the car, which is your business, just kind of coasts along.

Now, you might think and you might even feel and even see for a period of time that you’re coasting kind of nicely but what can happen is all of a sudden, it can go down.

It can drop. It can drop because maybe one or more of your distinct clients decides to pause or they end the project earlier, right, there’s some change going on in their organization, or a really great prospect or multiple prospects that you had that you’re just certain would become clients decided not to move forward right now or decided to go with someone else in the marketplace.

Also, now, this momentum that you had just drops off very quickly.

The problem is that when that happens, if your foot is off the pedal for too long, your pipeline of business, you have people in the pipeline that you’re working through these different stages from initial lead to a conversation to a proposal to winning and so forth, if there are enough people in this pipeline all at given times and your foot’s off the pedal, then, this early area here, this is what we call the lead category or lead column, is very low.

There’s not much here.

There’s not much here, then, it’s going to take you longer to get your business back up to the level that it was before.

Whereas, if your foot is on the pedal, maybe not all the way to the ground as was before but if it’s even just a little bit, even if you’re applying a bit of pressure meaning that you’re still building up new leads and new opportunities in this category, then, if something drops off, you can stop it by moving more leads through and you can pick up another opportunity, and pick up another opportunity.

Essentially, what you’re doing is you’re not allowing your business to become complacent. You’re not just letting it coast along organically. You’re being intentional.

You’re always spending some effort, less … You’ll be spending less effort on your business development and less on your marketing than you were before when you are more established because you have more clients to serve and so, you have less time to work on your marketing, which is okay.

That’s normal for an independent or very small consulting firm but you never, never want to stop completely. You don’t want to take your foot off the pedal altogether because if you do, then you’re really becoming susceptible to this drop. Then, it can take you a lot longer to get things back up.

This place here going back up, this whole zone is painful. This is not fun, guys, because when you’re in this zone, you’re feeling, “Wow. Oh, I have to do this all over again. I don’t want to do this.” Some people don’t even like the marketing and sales process.

As you’re establishing, growing your business, make sure that you always have your foot on the pedal, more at the beginning probably, less a little bit as things go but the more that you have your foot on the pedal, the more that you can keep this down for as long as forever.

For as long as your business is alive, you want to have your foot on the pedal because that’s what’s going to give you the opportunities. That’s going to put you in that position to be in control.

If you’re not, then when this goes down, when something happens, you’re not in control and that becomes then much, much more difficult to deal with. If you are in control, you’re able to correct, to course correct and you get things back off, back on track and growing.

The other benefit is that the more you have your foot on the pedal, the more opportunities you’re going to actually create.

As you create more of those opportunities, not only can you then really pick and choose the clients that you want to work with but you’re also able to just win more clients or win higher value projects because you can say no to the ones that aren’t a good fit for you and say yes to the ones that you feel are like, “Yeah, that’s in my zone. Those are ideal clients. It’s a high value project.”

That obviously will help you to make a lot more money and have a much stronger stable of clients and prospects for the future.

2 thoughts on “Mindset Mistake of Established Consultants

  1. diane says:

    The gas pedal analogy is great and very applicable business owners as well as. It’s so easy to get caught up in the success right now that you forget that the business needs constant maintenance in many different areas to continue forward.

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