Nowadays, clients do not look in the telephone phone book or turn to trade magazines to locate a consultant. They also do respond well to a hard-sell. These days, clients prefer to buy as opposed to get sold to. Let’s face it, they have a lot of choice out there in terms of service providers.
Perhaps as much as three out of four buyers of services now procure consulting services as a result of their own research. Quite often they hire consultants who they know and trust, as opposed to going for those they don’t know. They also turn first to their internal networks to find a consultant.
When you secure the opportunity of talking to a prospective client, it is better not to spend your time telling them how great you are. Go to the heart of the challenge they face, and be prepared to prove how well you are able to help them. Many clients are conditioned for consultants to launch into a hard sell, so why not surprise them and be different. Any consultant worth hiring will have already described what they do via their marketing, whether it is through a web site, articles or newsletters, etc. Testimonials should also be readily accessible to your prospect.
Conducting some research in advance and discussing how you can help your prospective client deal with their challenges can prove to be a more successful approach than telling them how good you are. Show the prospect how you can help by proposing ideas and describing how you can help them meet their objectives. You will sell more work by letting clients buy from you, as opposed to trying to sell to them.
The majority of prospects know that a consultant is an expert who helps people in a certain field. But that is just the beginning because they are likely to have any number of unanswered questions that might prevent you from moving ahead with things.
Here are eight questions that clients can ask themselves when thinking of hiring a consultant. Be ready to reassure the prospect when any of these questions are raised.
1. What type of consultants should I use?
2. How can I know if I need a consultant?
3. How can I establish what needs to be changed?
4. How can I identify a professional consultant?
5. How do most consultants charge for their professional services?
6. How can I vet consultants that are recommended to me?
7. How should I finally select the right consultant?
8. What agreement type do I make with a consultant?
It is wise to have a public profile if you wish to be hired as a consultant. Your profile does not need to be a widespread profile, but what it does need is for your prospective clients to know where to read it. Perhaps you already know the client or have been recommended to the client, or they might be a former client. But if none of these apply, how do you build a public profile in order for prospective clients to want to hire you?
It is no longer necessary to spend large sums of money on advertisements, although many people still spend their money in this way. The Internet has made it possible to build a public profile using a very small budget. Creating the profile now requires more time and effort than money, which is great news for the consultant who is looking to build a flow of regular clients which they have never met before.
If you have the right expertise to offer as a consultant and if you have the passion, drive, enthusiasm and commitment to be a successful consultant, rest assured that it has never been more possible to build a public profile, become recognised as an expert and get consistently hired as a consultant.
You can learn about it here.