This week's Indie Business Radio, show features Michael McLaughlin, author of Winning the Professional Services Sale: Unconventional Strategies to Reach More Clients, Land Profitable Work, and Maintain Your Sanity. Michael is a management consultant and speaker with more than twenty years in the professional services industry. He is the founder and a principle of MindShare Consulting, LLC, which helps professional services organizations design winning sales and marketing approaches.
Michael offered some great tips on this week's show. One of my favorite takeaways is his response to my question about whether new technologies make it easier for professional consultants to market their services. His reply: “Absolutely! Today, there's no excuse for being invisible!” Here are some other insights Michael shared on the show.
- “Idea Merchants” Lead The Way. Michael believes that experts with leading ideas make the most desirable consultants. Michael calls them “idea merchants,” and says that those who use technology to lead the way with ideas, especially about what the future holds for a particular industry, are the most successful consultants.The service providers with the best ideas win. Expressing different ways to think about the same issues distinguishes you from everyone else. Put your ideas and innovative thoughts on display, and you will easily rise to the top of everyone's list for service providers in your niche.
- Don't Take On Every Project. Michael recognizes the temptation many new consultants experience to take on the work of every client who comes along. He says to avoid doing so at all costs. Before taking on a client, be sure you know exactly what is expected of you. Make sure you can and want to do the work required. A project you hate doing is just as bad as one that you don't have the expertise for.
- On Proposals. Michael said that a lot of consultants misuse the proposal process by drafting proposals that “propose” the work that is to be done for the client. The better practice, says Michael, is to use the proposal to actually “confirm” the work that's to be done. By the time you get to the point where you are actually proposing terms to a client, you should already know the work they want you to do to for them. In that case, your proposal should confirm — point by point — what the work you will perform, along with objectives, solutions, time frames, prices.
Listen to the Show
Get more of Michael's tips wherever it's convenient for you. You can download the entire show on iTunes (search on Indie Business). You can also stream it or download it at my radio show website, where you can also pick up a copy of Michael's book. If you like where you are right now, simply click on the link at the bottom of this post to listen right now! It's a great way to digest useful information while you work.
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