Originally published at: https://blog.12min.com/million-dollar-consulting-summary/
The Professional’s Guide to Growing a Practice
Do you want to be a consultant?
We will show you how!
Who Should Read “Million Dollar Consulting”? and Why?Many people who are not suited for the nine-to-five kind of life decide to use their knowledge, experience, and skills by becoming consultants.
We recommend this read to everyone who considers becoming a successful consultant or hiring one.
About Alan WeissAlan Weiss is an author of more than 50 books and the founder of Summit Consulting Group.
He was named as one of the top one percent of the National Speaker Association’s speakers and has consulted for a vast number of companies.
"Million Dollar Consulting Summary"If you want to become a lawyer, you need to go to law school and pass the bar, and then you get the certificate which lets you practice law.
That is straightforward, isn’t it?
Well, many professions have clear requirements, but almost anyone can be a consultant.
What does being consultant mean?
A consultant is someone who can use his skills and talents to create components that their clients’ businesses do not have. The value that consultants add to the companies comes from two places: content and process expertise.
Content expertise comes from study and work experience in a specialized industry. This expertise consists of the talents and skills that fueled your success in one specific field.
Process expertise does not limit itself to specific industries and consists of a set of practical methods. In other words, you can apply it in any environment.
Process consulting is more valuable than content expertise since it is more general and you can apply it in different areas and thus make up for the lack of content expertise.
Now that you know the difference between the two sources of the value consultants adds, we move on to defining how you can measure the quality of your work.
Remember that being a consultant is all about results, which means that quantifying your tasks is not a proper way of assessing the quality of your work. Instead, opt for determining the value you add to the businesses of your clients.
So, if there are so many consultants out there, what can set you apart?
First, think of your mission statement. When you are coming up with it, make sure that it is not too vague. A good mission statement includes the intended results and specific goals a consultant has.
Next, show your clients how you add value and try to differentiate yourself and your services from others.
Keep in mind that the basis of your strategy should always be the quest for growth, both personal and financial.
Now, to become the best possible consultant, you have to strive to become irreplaceable to your client. You can do this by creating a lasting bond with them, which will let you maximize your fees and keep your task pipeline filled.
In other words, you need to become a strategic thinker. A strategic thinker will even discount his fees for unique opportunities if such an opportunity gives you a window to learn more about your client’s business.
Each project you take will increase both your experience, your worth and consequently, your fee.
But all of this comes with a price.
You will regularly have to learn and find new ways to add value to your clients’ business.
Adding more value to your clients adds more numbers to your income.
However, money is not the only takeaway. Each assignment you will successfully finish will also improve your network by leaving you with a strengthened relationship with your client.
Just imagine the word-of-mouth marketing a satisfied client can give you!
So, make sure that you always get something from your assignments. Conversely, if a business does not keep up with your growth strategy – don’t do it.
You cannot let bad clients hold you back.
So keep your standards and fees up, but even more importantly, keep the quality above them both.
Key Lessons from “Million Dollar Consulting”1. The Roads Companies Use to Find a Consultant 2. Four Reasons Clients Reject Your Services 3. Balance Between Work and Play
The Roads Companies Use to Find a ConsultantWord-of-mouth marketing leads the clients directly to you. It is based on direct recommendations by past clients or someone who has heard of you, so there’s not much you can do about this.
What you can do is make sure you do not just deliver great work, but also treat your clients well and pave a path toward a long-term relationship.
An outstanding body of work – everything you have so far done increases your visibility. Use your past work as your credibility, since people respond best when you show them proof of the value you added to others.
Four Reasons Clients Reject Your ServicesNo money – if you explain the kind of services you offer, i.e., the value you deliver, your fees will seem more reasonable.
No urgency – just like for the first reason, if you make your added value big enough, you will appear more urgently needed.
No need – although clients know what they want, they do not always know what they need. So, it is up to you to be the one who identifies their needs and use that as your selling point.
No trust – you need to create a relationship with your client by making them believe you that you have their best interests in mind.
Balance Between Work and PlayFirst, understand that there is no personal and professional life. There is just life. Your life.
So, eliminate any time boundaries and do as you please. Work when you want to work and unwind when you need unwinding. Being an independent consultant gives you this luxury.
Furthermore, enjoy all the variety that surrounds you. Do new things, avoid being alone and look for inspiration in others.
Lastly, your body is your temple, so take care of it.
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“Million Dollar Consulting” Quotes[bctt tweet="You grow based on exploiting strengths, not by acclimating to weaknesses." username="get12min"]
[bctt tweet=“Abraham Maslow observed: When the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“Too many consultants fall in love with their own methodology. Success in this business comes from marketing, not from the depth of consulting expertise. I know that this is heresy to many of you, but all the nonrainmaking consulting gurus are working for somebody else and merely earning a paycheck.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“One Percent Solution: Videotape clients giving you testimonials and place these on your Web site home page. This is the most dramatic video marketing tool that I know of.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“Always ask yourself, Would I be proud of this if it appeared all over the Internet tomorrow?” username=“get12min”]