Some consultants, especially when they are uncomfortable with the sales and marketing side of running their own practice, have a tendency to make sales more complicated than necessary. They buy lots of books, take classes, implement enterprise-level CRMs, etc. (So I’m told.)
But it’s not quantum mechanics.
Let’s break it down to basics…
- If you’re in a relationship business like consulting, you’re in a conversation business.
- If you’re in a conversation business, you need to have conversations.
The 2nd part seems almost silly, but many consultants are not proactive about having conversations, so they suffer from the feast-or-famine cycle.
If you agree with the 2 suppositions above, but aren’t sure how to go about it, here’s the simple 2 step process:
- Figure out who you want to talk to.
- Talk to them.
Again, it’s pretty simple, but many consultants don’t do this.
They tend to skip #1, which makes #2 discouraging.
It’s not about who you could talk to, who you could help, but your ideal client profile. Figure that out, then it’s easier to figure out where they are, who else knows lots of them (which means they are people you want to talk to), and, just as critically, who seems like a fit on the surface, but you actually don’t want to talk to…
Then, have these conversations. If you make them straight up pitches, people will be unhappy about it, and you’ll hate it, too. But conversations about topics of mutual interest tend to be fun. And the better you do with step 1, the easier step 2 becomes.
(AFAIK, Mimiran is the only CRM –can I say “anti-CRM”– that’s optimized around this process instead of more complex sales “methodologies” that are appropriate for full time sales professionals, but not independent consultants.)