What Plans Do Your Clients Have
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* What is their business vision?
* What are their 3-5 key goals over the next 3 years?
* Where do they want to take their businesses? Grow and expand? Sell? Merge? Consolidate?
Why should you know and care?
Here are 3 reasons
Your current clients offer future opportunities
You’ve already done business with them. They know you and you know them. There might be potential for further business – if not now, then perhaps over the next 1-3 years. If you know their plans and know what challenges, opportunities and aspirations they have you can offer to help them develop those plans and achieve their future objectives.
This may be in the form of actual business or it could simply be by connecting them with other suppliers, mentors or consultants that can help them. If you put their needs first under the “pay it forward” principle you are more likely to be the one they call when then have a need that you can specifically help with within your speciality.
“If you know what they need, you can plant the seed”
Foresight is Fore planned
If, for example you are an HR consultant and you know that one of your key clients has plans to double their workforce as a result of increased production due to the opening of a new facility, you can help them by preplanning the whole recruitment, selection, induction and training process. The benefit to them is that they have the right people with the right skills and knowledge, correctly inducted and trained in place in good time for the launch.
“Consult in advance and be part of the dance”
Your pipeline will have a steady flow
One of the constant challenges you face as a consultant is that of a steady pipeline of “ideal” business. By working with your current clients to plan their next 1-3 years you can potentially increase the flow of work into your consultancy.
Imagine you are an IT implementation Consultant and you know that within the next 12 months your number one client will be implementing a new PC software rollout, changing the way they manage their online sales and are moving premises, you could potentially have 1, 2 or 3 pieces of work or 1 big integration project.
By working with your current ideal clients you can help them plan and manage their implementation and your pipeline too.
“A steady flow will help you grow”
Gaining new clients is always a key activity for consultants and optimising the relationship you have with your current clients is also important.
Keep in touch, meet with key people at various levels within the organisation, and research your clients market and trends. Do this when you have work with them and when you don’t. They will trust you more and hopefully share more when they know you have their longer term interests at heart and are not just out for the short term buck!
Go One Step Further for your clients and you go One Step Further too.
About the Author
Beverley Hamilton works with independent business consultants to help them grow a profitable consultancy and still have time for their life. You can get my Free Ecourse Discover the 5 Most Common Incorrect Assumptions Independent Business Consultants Make and a complimentary subscription to Quickstart, the newsletter specifically for consultants. Go to One Step Further for more instantly accessible resources. Your future Your choice!
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-01-16 00:08:10 in Business Articles