I want you to land your next (or first!) six-figure contract with confidence.
Are you optimizing your earning power? Are you getting paid what you're worth?
In this video from my eCourse "Establishing Winning Partnerships," I let you in my insider secrets to transforming a small request for a tactic such as a training or short-term coaching assignment into a larger and long-term consulting engagement.
I am passionate about about this topic because how you well you handle contracting conversations defines your consulting potential in terms of:
My partnership set up approach to landing clients has been the key to my success. Within 18 months of leaping from my high-profile role at Walt Disney World into full-time consulting business ownership, I grew my revenue from $0 - $300,000. I didn't achieve these results because I was some marketing...
Betsy Jordyn: Well hello there everybody it's Betsy Jordyn of the Consultants Institute, and I am so excited to finally be interviewing Michael Zipursky of Consulting Success. So Michael and I met how many years ago was it, Michael?
M. Zipursky: Oh, wow.
Betsy Jordyn: About three years? Four years ago?
M. Zipursky: It's been awhile. Is it? Time flies.
Betsy Jordyn: So he was so gracious to interview me for his podcast series, and I've been waiting for an opportunity to return the favor, and this is my opportunity. So without further ado let's just jump in. So tell me a little bit about you. So you have your own business consulting success. So tell me about this business.
M. Zipursky: Yeah, ConsultingSuccess.com is where we work...
Hooray your marketing efforts have paid off! You have a meeting scheduled with someone who has expressed interest in doing work with you. In this article, I want to share you with practical tips on how to leverage this meeting towards establishing your credibility with your future client while positioning yourself to maximize your contribution AND compensation.
This meeting is far more than a discovery or contracting meeting. It is an opportunity to literally change your client's life. Through the questions you ask and how you help your client go beneath their wants to their greatest needs, you are providing dramatic value. Because your client has a thousand things in their thoughts, their minds, their heart, and what you're going to do is help them get clear; get clear on the issues that are bothering them that they intuitively, instinctively, absolutely want to take action on.
I call this meeting Directional Agreement because this is where you and...
Forging a strong client relationship is not a matter of chance. It is the result of choice and whether or not the consultant has taken charge of the positioning process. Unlike other roles in an organization, consultants hold no formal position on the organization chart. It is up to the consultant to carve out the position. If consultants do not take charge of the positioning process, it will be done for them by their clients which may cause them to fall into one of two traps.
The first trap is what I would call the Surrogate Leadership Trap. Consulting is not the same as leading, which can be seen in the visual above.
Many consultants by virtue of their natural leadership abilities or past executive experience are invited to play a role that involves more than simply giving expert advice or recommendations but rather step into the role that the client is supposed to be playing. And if the consultant has been a leader in the past, this is a huge temptation.
Trying to lead...
Content marketing is not some marketing fad.
It’s simply the smartest way of finding and connecting with your ideal client, establishing your credibility, increasing your number of discovery meetings and close rates as well as giving you the platform to increasing your fees.
Content marketing is essential for consultants because we are in the knowledge business. We don't sell a tangible product or service. Our value add contribution lies in our heads and hearts and content is the best way to manifest this expertise in a way that connects with our future strategic partners.
If you're not implementing a content marketing strategy, you are leaving money (and credibility) on the table.
If content doesn't come easily to you or you're not sure how to get started, let me give you a few pointers.
First, be clear on who your ideal client is and what is their pain points. It all starts here. If you are unsure who you want to serve, your marketing messages and...
The number one way that really smart consultants get in the way of their own success is struggling with the fear that that they don't have what it takes.
Despite years of education and experience they stay up at night wondering what is the best way to let their future clients know about how much they know and what they can bring to the table. They pursue certification after certification hoping that one of them will be the silver bullet that will make them irresistible in the marketplace.
But here's the thing - your clients don't care about how smart you are. And the more you worry about it and try to force yourself to shamelessly self-promote and showcase what you think is all that you know you can bring to the table - you have already sub-optimized your effectiveness.
Again, your clients don't care how smart you are. They don't care about your certifications or even your degrees.
Instead this is what they care about and what they really want to know about you:
Today’s model introduces how I am starting to think about what is authentic leadership. I think authentic leadership is where power and love intersect. Power and use of power are familiar concepts in business and the definining power as control, authority, capacity and influence is more than likely readily understandable and accessible. Love is a different story.
When I talk about love, I am not talking about the feelings shared between parents and children, friends or even lovers. I am talking the concept of love as expressed in Greek as agape which relates more to service and esteem.
Sources of power can be internal or external. Focuses of love can be internal or external. How these relate to one another result in one of four leadership styles:
“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you...
One of the most hilarious Saturday Night Live skits is the one where Christopher Walken demands from the “Don’t Fear the Reaper” band (Blue Oyster Cult) that he needed more cowbell from Will Ferrell. I was watching this skit the other day with a good friend of mine who is an actor. When we finally got a hold of ourselves and wiped the tears from our eyes after laughing so hard, he explained that this was so funny because Christopher Walken was just so committed to his role. He further explained that this type of commitment is the secret behind why Jim Carrey is so funny. Whatever they do, they do it with their whole hearts and don’t worry about making fools of themselves. When this friend portrayed the Quasimodo in live stage show “Hunchback of Notre Dame”, multiple times a day for a number of years, he kept the show fresh because of his commitment to the part. He always looked for a new ways to bring this story to life.
It’s not just in the...
One of the most challenging experiences you'll ever encounter as a consultant is dealing with your client's resistance to change.
We get blindsided by this all-to-common reality because we are only working with our clients because they at some point expressed a desire to change.
But when reality hits - they act like it was OUR idea.
Let me explain what is happening inside your client and why they are all of the sudden backpedaling on their commitment.
They think that if they change and mature, they are going to become something that they don't want to be, which in most cases some mythical image of a large bureaucratic company that has lost its ability to have fun and be creative. It's not unlike a teenager thinking that if they take on more responsibility and grow in their maturity they are going to be their joy-killing, stodgy parents.
In my latest episode from my podcast series Consulting Matters: Mastering the Art & Science of the Business I...
With a single click, you'll get my insider secrets to consulting to world-class companies like Disney, Wyndham and AAA, PLUS a step-by-step checklist to empower you to BOLDLY build your sustainably profitable business.