As the owner of a consultancy firm, your job revolves around helping entrepreneurs maximize their potential. Before working on their operations, though, it’s vital that you work on yours. After all, nobody is going to trust you with their business if you can’t even be trusted with your own.
Helping other businesses is easy as you can look at their ventures with fresh eyes and an open mind. Your emotional connection to the consultancy firm makes it a lot easier to overlook very basic errors. Use the following checklist to ensure that your venture makes the right impression. You will not regret it.
1) Look the part
It’s a harsh reality, but clients will have preconceptions based on your appearance. While there’s no need to look like Beyonce or Tom Hardy, you should cut a professional figure at all times. Finding the right work clothes and beauty/grooming ritual is vital. Meanwhile, carrying business cards, pens, and a smartphone that is charged will also help during meetings. If you drive, leasing a newer vehicle may help too. It’s all about creating the right perceptions, and it will encourage people to listen.
2) Understand your brand
First impressions count for a lot in modern business, particularly when you sell consultancy services. With the use of branding professional services, you’ll be sure to set the right tone time and time again. Knowing how to promote your company and its services in an engaging and consistent manner is never easy. Get it right, though, and the conversion rates will soar. When interested parties are more likely to invest in your advice, the clientele base should grow at a rapid pace.
3) Do your research
Strong branding gives you a solid foundation, but you must not forget the need to tailor your services to each client. A little research goes a long way as it allows you to pinpoint at least one problem and come up with a solution. This proactive attitude will instantly win the client over. They’ll have immediate confirmation that you can bring value to their venture. This is especially true when you suggest something that they haven’t even considered, and makes them want to learn more about you.
4) Look at the individuals
Research into the company and its areas of improvement will serve you well. However, it’s possible to take things even further by researching the individual(s) you’ll be meeting. Their social media accounts and LinkedIn profile will tell you a lot about them. As is the case when recruiting employees, businesses want to work with people that they can connect with on a human level. Talk about the things that they are passionate about, and it will influence their business decisions.
5) Be in the know
When hiring a consultant, businesses aren’t looking for outdated info or suggestions. Setting up a Google alert to notify you about news and developments regarding the client and its competitors is key. When you stay abreast of the latest data, clients will have far greater confidence in your capabilities. Firstly, this gives you the best shot at impressing prospective clients. Moreover, this tip will enable you to provide a far better service throughout the duration of the contract on the project.
6) Always be available
Clients need to know that they can get through to you at any time. The thought of waiting days or weeks for a response when they are in urgent need of your support is their worst nightmare. You can’t be available at all times, but a live answering service will maintain the professional vibe that’s required. Managing your time in an efficient manner that allows you to give all clients the attention they deserve is vital too. In truth, it could be the difference between gaining repeat business or not.
7) Proofread all documents
Whether you’re approaching a prospective client through email, sending a proposal, or doing another task doesn’t matter. It’s imperative that you avoid basic mistakes as even a single error can discourage clients from wanting to use your services. Grammar checking software will ensure that all written communication is presented in the correct way. If nothing else, the added confidence gained on the back of this suggestion will let you enter the arena in style.
8) Provide value before you’ve even met
As already mentioned, clients need to know that the business will provide value to the business. You can take the first step to doing this with a blog that provides useful insight into your chosen area of expertise. First and foremost, this establishes your place as an industry leader and commentator. Secondly, though, it should give your social media following and general SEO strategy a serious boost. A strong web game can only have a positive impact on your attraction.
9) Gain positive reviews
While your marketing endeavors and initial interactions will have a big impact, you must accept that clients aren’t stupid. They will receive these items with a pinch of salt, which is why the words of others carry greater weight. Gaining testimonials from existing clients can become your greatest marketing tool. Even if you provide consulting services at a highly discounted rate just to build your reputation, this can work wonders. On a similar note, affiliate schemes can be very beneficial.
10) Educated yourself
The more you learn, the more you earn. This theory is particularly true when handling consultancy matters. Aside from gaining extra qualifications that can be presented as a part of your USP, the added info can be used to impress clients. If nothing else, it should allow you to target a more diverse range of clients. Besides, the fact that you can learn some truly valuable information and skills from the courses will make you a better consultant. This will shine through at all times.
Ultimately, you want to be the best version of yourself in every sense of the word while also building a business that you can be proud of. Do this, and your consultancy firm will see noticeable improvements.