Follow Me

In the “olden days,” as my son used to say, military aircraft pilots would follow a jeep or truck with a big sign saying “Follow Me” as they taxied after landing. The vehicle would lead them to their designated space.

Well, I don’t put signs on the Bentley, so, metaphorically, follow me.

People are asking whether these are good times or bad to be a consultant. The times are neither. The times are what you make of them.

The question isn’t about price, or the economy, or the competition, or anything other than VALUE. Are you providing value that others find sufficiently worthwhile to pay for?

I’ve had people tell me recently that they’re not sure how they help clients (they just “do”), or that they’re uncertain about what to say if they do get in front of a buyer, or that they don’t feel their value is easily explained. Well, that’s not going to work in the greatest economy in the universe, much less this one.

There are close to 300 million people in the US and something like 7 billion on the planet. There are a lot of buyers in there, trust me. The questions are:

• Do you know who they are?
• Do they know who you are?
• Can you reach them?
• Can they reach you?
• Do you know how to assign a fee for your value to them?

A lot of you reading this can’t answer those questions well, let alone those who aren’t sufficiently invested in their own development to bother to read this. Don’t be distracted by the events swirling around us—there’s not much you can do about them, sorry to say, but there is a lot you can do about your own situation, happy to say.

Specify your value. Brand it. Promote it incessantly. Seek out buyers who will benefit from it. Make it easy for those buyers to appreciate your expertise and find you.

Rinse and repeat.

Follow me.

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to Follow Me

  1. I applied your advice recently: no proposal, just offering the value to client without mentioning the fee. I only told them: I won’t bill on hourly rates. The management was skeptical (we have budget cuts, there is no per diem cost in your proposal, we only want to pay for work performed, bla bla bla). I told them: it is your call. The work floor was disgusted by the fact that management would not take advantage of the value (I told them exactly the same thing as management!). So they made it clear to management, I kept shut.

    A few days later: make us an agreement. I wrote down the goal, the value and the scope of the agreement in simple wording (1.5 pages). And my fee without relation to time spent. All to be paid up front. The buyer (usually a week behind on her mail) signed that same afternoon.

    Why? Value, value, value.

    Follow him :-D

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