Do You Waffle Your Way Out of Business
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* Do you waffle your way OUT of business?
* Do you drone on about how great you are; how great your services are?
* Do you focus so much on trying to get your message across that you don’t listen?
If you even think this might be you on occasion – read on!
Your clients and your potential clients are bombarded with information. Your clients and potential clients are surrounded by products, services, knowledge and people all trying to persuade them to part with their time, money and soul!
So how can you be different and what will enable you to get the business on your client's terms?
Here are 3 factors to consider - Clarity, Connection and Specialism
“…the most persuasive evidence of people's expertise is the clarity with which they communicate” Harry Beckwith
When you are speaking with a client/prospect, be clear about what you are about. Be clear about what differentiates you and be very clear about the results you can deliver in line with the problems they need solving.
Speak in language that is non-jargon, non-clichéd and is clear and to the point.
Speak in stories and pictures sometimes as you describe successes you have had in the past.
Speak in linear terms as you describe a process you will carry out.
Speak in terms of the emotional needs that you can address.
In whatever manner or medium you communicate be clear. To do this effectively, all the time you need to clear yourself about purpose, message and outcome from the meeting/phone call/marketing collateral. If you don’t have clarity it’s certain your prospects and clients won’t.
Create a connection with your clients. If you woo them then ignore them you may have short term business but not a long term relationship. Simple things to stay in touch are not expensive or time consuming but they are effective and help your clients feel valued.
* A short “how’s it going” phone call – when you don’t have anything to sell!
* A quick “thought you may find this article interesting” email
* An invitation, introduction or complementary gift goes a long way to keeping you in touch with your clients, maintaining the relationships and if and when new opportunities come up who do you think they will most likely talk to?
As more and more consultants set up their business the competition gets bigger. For independent or small consultancies the ability to win great business consistently means getting known. How do you get known? – by being a specialist. By being great at one or two things. By being THE consultancy that does X. Specialism is the way forward. If you try and be all things to all people a number of things happen.
1. prospects get confused about what you do
2. prospects are not sure what you are REALLY good at
3. prospects find it harder to choose
4. prospects have too many messages to cope with
5. you get less business
If you try and offer too many services or say you can to too many things, there is a danger that you do nothing well and spread yourself and your resources thinly as you try to cope with every demand as you become desperate for business. Desperation shows.
Whilst it may be hard to turn down business it shows you know what you are about and your prospects will recognise that. To complement your specialism you need to collaborate with other specialists that can support what you do or take business that you are not a specialist in. Forming strategic alliances is a good way to manage this.
“Consultants must first recognize that they are selling a relationship rather than competence and advice. You must win the person to win the business, and you must keep winning the person to keep the business.” Harry Beckwith
So put some focus on how you can win new relationships through clarity, connection and specialism.
About the Author
Beverley Hamilton works with independent business consultants to help them grow a profitable consultancy and still have time for their life.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-01-16 00:08:10 in Personal Articles