According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a self-employed consultant today is earning an average of $82,260. That’s pretty good pay combined with the fact that you can enjoy being your own boss, set your own hours, and be in control of your own financial destiny.
But seasoned consultants will tell you that competition is tough. Thus, landing steady consulting jobs requires a well-thought-out strategy. Here are some key ways to improve your consulting business and chances of landing new clients.
Detail Your Process
Too many consultants tell prospective clients about what they can do for them. It’s much more effective to describe to a client a detailed process that you will guide them through. That includes what will be achieved at the end of services.
Explaining all facets of the process will make the client more comfortable because it will help them understand what they can expect from what they will invest in you. Make sure you break up your process into phases and that each one of these steps is delineated in detail.
Maintain Control of Your Own Project
Too many consultants allow their clients to run the project a consultant develops for them. Amazingly, some clients pay for your expertise and then make only a half-baked attempt at running the project successfully.
You might ask: “What difference does that make as long as I get paid?”
The difference is that if you let your client run your program and something goes wrong — you get the blame. Consultants rely heavily on the referrals and testimonials of those they serve. Thus, take a hands-on approach that ensures what you propose to get done does get done. This will include managing your client’s expectations and demonstrating to them positive results.
Qualify Your Client
When new consultants are getting started, they are eager to work with anyone. But there are some potential clients you may not want to work for. For example, can they afford you? Also, do they have the resources and commitment to implement what you will be recommending (demanding) them to do?
The bottom line is, you want to qualify your clients to ensure they have the skills, drive, and desire to make your consultancy plan a success. It’s critical because the success of your outcome is a powerful reflection on you.