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The Consultant and New Client Conundrum

By Michael Zipursky
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Many consultants face the same problem – how to keep a steady stream of ongoing work. More importantly, how to ensure this stream of clients flows at a reliable and consistent manner.

You see, sooner or later your client load will fill up (if you follow the marketing principles laid out on this site), and your focus will be on maintaining and servicing your current clients.

The client emails, phone calls, preparing presentations, materials and implementation adds up and the days fly by. You’re feeling good, the money is coming in, and the bank account is getting fatter.

But then the unexpected happens ….

One client doesn’t have the budget to continue. Another goes on holiday. A third is so busy with the new business she’s received needs to put your services on hold as they catch up. And your fourth client, well they continue needing your services but they only make up 15% of your overall consulting income.

So now you’re feeling the pinch. You went from riding high with the checks flying in, to down in the doldrums wondering what you did wrong.

Welcome to the consultant’s life. Really, is this how it is?

Often yes, but it doesn’t have to be.

All it takes is some preparation and planning. You need to get ready and understand that this roller coaster ride is common in the consulting field. But you don’t have to feel the big dips if you are consistently marketing your consulting services.

This doesn’t mean that you need to be spending days and days marketing your business each month. But with a proper plan in place, you can focus on connecting with a pool of your prime future customers.

  • You can do this by using Google Adwords or other PPC service to bring in leads 24/7.
  • You can attend one networking or trade show event each month.
  • You can send out a newsletter to everyone on your website’s opt-list list.
  • You can send direct mail to a group of 100 or 500 of your target market

Regardless of what you do, do it consistently. Spend 1 day each month planning out your marketing for the next month. And then either do it yourself or get help to implement your marketing plan.

Don’t be scared off by the words ‘marketing plan’. It sounds like a big feat. But it needn’t be. It can be as simple as writing out one marketing action for each week. It may be to spend 1 hour each week making calls to past or prospective customers … or anything else on the above list.

It will feel like a lot when you first start, but as you do it more regularly it will become part of your routine. And with a marketing system in place – your consulting business will continue to grow and grow and grow.

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