There are three main elements in a healthy consulting business:
- Eliciting and following up on leads.
You must make your way to a genuine, economic buyer, in an organization that can truly use your value. In your “pipeline,” leads should be continually entering at various stages, from short-term to long-term. Too many consultants “vacuum” out the leads and don’t replace them, with the result of spurts of intense business and then famine for even longer periods.
2. Conversion of leads to business.
You must develop a trusting relationship with the economic buyer to the point where the buyer shares professional and personal goals, and the objectives for and value of a project. Too many consultants rush this stage as if it’s a checklist to hurry through. As a result, the buyer says positive things to get you out of the office, but doesn’t call back or respond to the proposal.
3. Implementation and delivery.
You must provide a speedy and high quality improvement to the client’s condition. This should be as non-labor intensive as possible yet still meet all objectives. Too many consultants fall in love with their methodology or, worse, engage in “scope seep” and continue to deliver unnecessary value to try to validate themselves and their fees.
If you are perceived as an expert and thought leader, true buyers come to you, enter into business on your terms and for your fees, and never question the process. Do you want to be another pair of “feet on the street” or a true leader in this profession?
© Alan Weiss 2013Print This Post