Two Great Tips To Market Yourself As A Consultant
When you're not a natural salesperson ...
John had had a successful career, ending up as the financial director of a mid-sized company and then was made redundant. He set up as a business consultant, confident in his skills and knowledge ...
If you want to market yourself as a consultant then I've got two great tips for you!
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He felt that his offering would benefit his chosen target market, yet he confided in me that he threw up in the car park before his first sales meeting due to nerves, and going networking to promote himself was an equally traumatic experience.
Most people set up their own consultancy as a second career, coming out of employment with an enthusiasm to sell their hard-won knowledge and experience to others.
"Some people take to the change like a duck to water, others find it a real challenge to promote and sell themselves!"
As John said "There is something different about promoting and selling myself rather than the company I work for; it's more personal. In those early days, it made me feel very exposed." On top of that, and particularly if you're English, it also conflicted with that programme that someone - usually our mothers - put into our head as children, "Don't blow your own trumpet".
Now, you may not have such an extreme reaction as John did, but if you have an aversion to selling yourself, you probably are one of those people who says you're not a natural networker and find it hard to be natural when having to promote yourself at networking events.
My first top tip is to stop networking to sell and instead make contacts with someone else who can promote you and sell you to prospective clients.
We call it referral marketing. You focus on building relationships with other people in business and you spend your time promoting each other. So, much easier to promote others rather than 'blowing your own trumpet'.
And let's face it, we're all much more likely to believe that you're great at what you do if someone other than you tells us so.
The second tip is to stick to what you know best, what you feel confident in, your knowledge, skills and experience.
Share with your referral partners stories about how what you offer has helped real clients. People remember a good anecdote and love to pass them on too. And you're giving them the ammunition to promote you.
Then they can help you cross that first hurdle by introducing you to people who want to meet you because you can help them rather than sell to them.
Arrange to have a coffee with some other business people who have a similar client base. Focus on getting to know each other and share a few good stories. You'll never throw up in the car park again.
"Would you like to know more?"
If you'd like to find out more about how to market yourself as a consultant then do give me a call on 0333 335 0416 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.
Until next time ...
I help people build and maintain productive working relationships both with their work colleagues and with a wider network to win more business. I do this by combining my skills in coaching, mediation and training with my extensive experience in senior management.
What I love most about my work is when my clients get those “aha” moments because I know they have seen for themselves the way that they want to move forwards. Then they will achieve their ambitions.
Helping people who are having challenges with their working relationships gives me enormous pleasure. It was my privilege when working in health care to see how people working together can make the impossible seem easy and accomplish miracles as a result.
So helping people build or restore strong relationship with their colleagues makes even the hardest work easier, alleviates distress for the individual and reduces problems for the whole organisation.
In all this work trust is an essential ingredient to winning business so most of my work comes through referrals. Referrals come through strong business relationships so it was a natural extension for me to work with Ascentiv and train others in how to get consistent and predictable referrals from their network.
What a fantastic way to earn a living!