When one talks with consultants, advisors or experts about why they decided to do what they do, the answer almost invariably is that they’re passionate about what they do. Maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement-it’s hard to get too passionate about supply chain management-but I’m sure you take my point.
For example, financial advisors get into that business because they’re fascinated about the markets. Leadership consultants are intrigued about how companies can do a better job of developing talent. The list goes on.
It all boils down to, consultants, advisors and experts love the delivery of what they do.
Which brings us to the mistake most of them make.
As Dad used to say, “The most important part of chicken soup, is the chicken.”
And the most important part of any advice giving business is…the client.
Duh. (You mean I read this far to learn that? Sheesh.)
But hang on for a moment-let’s talk about the mistake in a bit more detail (and more importantly, what you can do to eradicate it.)
Sure, clients are the most important element-ironically even more so than expertise. Think about it-is the most knowledgeable person in any field the most successful? Usually not. But…most consultants and advisors woefully underestimate how difficult it is to get them.
On a consistent basis.
Part of the reason getting consistently streams of new clients (to the point where you can turn down business or pick and choose who you want to work with) is the culture of the advice giving business.
Ask most any consultant, advisor or expert where he/she gets new business and you’ll invariably hear, “Referrals.”
Which is partly true. Yes, they get their business from referrals because…they have no other way to get it.
And if truth be known, they’re running scared. They’re worried about what happens once the current project is done. The pipeline is meager or nonexistent. Sure, maybe they can last through the next drought, but what a pain.
The problem boils down in large part to how they define themselves:
- I’m a consultant
- I’m an advisor
- I’m an expert.
You also-and even more so-are a marketer.
And people don’t want to define themselves that way.
They’d like to believe that clients will come to them simply because they’re so damn good at what they do.
It’s time for the consulting, expert and advise community to wake up and think about making soup-and what’s the most important element in the recipe.
That’s the mistake.
The good news?
There’s an easy solution.
Mark Satterfield, Gentle Rain Marketing — Author , Marketing Consulting Expert, Lead Generation, Business Development, Marketing Strategy, Get More Clients, Increase Revenue — Click here for his Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube