[The following is a note by two authors to promote their book. In trying to appeal to managers to “control” consultants better, it assumes an adversarial relationship. While what they say can be true, good consultants work together with clients in partnership and do not try to manipulate the relationship to their own advantage. For instance, they will advise clients not to use their services when it is not appropriate and help them arrange help elsewhere.]
4 Keys to Extracting Maximum Value From Consultants
Continue reading “Even Consultants Can Have Negative Views of Consultants”
There is an approach to selling called “consultative selling.” While there are various misuses of the term, its originator, Mack Hanan, defines it roughly as not being a “vendor” trying to sell what you do, but acting like a consultant when you sell.
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My approach to marketing your expertise focuses on building relationships and even friendships – on helping other people. By focusing on building relationships with potential clients, you take the pressure off yourself and them. You show yourself at your best while minimizing rejection and imposition on others. As an academic, it’s logical that you would want to keep in touch with potential clients as sources of information, and that you would occasionally be able to help them.
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Why are there so many jokes about consultants and how can you use them to your advantage? Actually, it’s an important issue and will help you understand how clients and prospects see you and how you can build trust and rapport better…
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USP stands for unique selling proposition. It was explained in a book by Rosser Reeves (Reality in Advertising, 1961). The book is out of print and expensive to find but we have a manual on the topic. USP is closely related to positioning (Trout and Reis), and branding. (Click here to see more on the manual.)
Your USP is a value that only you offer that makes a promise of a benefit to prospects and motivates them to buy.
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When you get in a rut or you can’t face major marketing activities, you can try quick little things that could bring you new clients, give you new ideas, or help your existing clients. Here are ten small things you can do to build momentum for more serious marketing.
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The biggest obstacle to promoting consulting services to new customers is often your own resistance to the idea of selling. Yes, S-E-L-L is a four-letter word. But it’s not something you should be ashamed of. Few people want to grow up and be salespeople. The images of the used-car salesman or the retailer unloading inventory on customers are negative ones. Those are cases where salespeople have their own best interests at heart, not the clients’.
Continue reading “How Consultants Learn to Like Personal Selling”
Requests for proposals (and similar terms) have advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage is the implication that the low bid will get the job, so new consultants can establish a track record and others can buy jobs. For some state contracts, there is a requirement that the low bidder get the job. However, there is generally a catch. The low bid must show the capacity to do the job. If they don’t know you, or your bid is poorly done or incomplete, they move on to the next highest bidder.
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Most consultants neglect their marketing. Generally you like doing the work more than getting the work. But to be successful as a consultant you must build some form of marketing into your regular schedule. Here are a five tips on how to approach the process.
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There are hundreds of details and specific methods to marketing. However, each consultant generally only uses a few approaches. Following are some outlines of how actual consultants have marketed their practices or build large firms.
Continue reading “How Consulting Firms Market”