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Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of The Society for the Advancement of Consulting, LLC - Issue #49: October, 2007

Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of the Society for Advancement of Consulting, LLC
  1. If a client complains about any minor matter, take a page out of the customer service handbook: Ask, "What can I do to make you happy?" It will almost always be less than you would have offered.
  2. A "talking head" on your web site (streaming video) is better if it's not you, but someone singing your praises, preferably a client.
  3. Here is the line you use to educate someone who is not the buyer but who insists on blocking the way: "Let me explain how I determine whether the project is right for me and whether I am right for you. First, I meet with the person responsible for approving the investment and evaluating the ROI…." 
  4. Remember this: Talent gets paid. If someone "offers" a television or radio program for which you are supposed to pay, it's a scam attempting to play on your ego. 
  5. Want to test a new methodology or model? Test it with clients or intended clients who will use it if you are successful. Don't trust other consultants or "experts." There is no sample as effective as a potential user. 
  6. If you think your client is stupid, and your client hired you, what are you really saying? 
  7. Here's a follow-up formula when you're not getting a response: Send an email; if no response in two days, leave a voice mail; if no response in two days, send a letter via Fedex; if no response in the next week, send a hard copy letter stating that you're sorry you couldn't make contact, you're there if needed, and wish the prospect well. Then move on. 
  8. With an IPhone or similar gizmo you can look up any publicly held prospect's stock price immediately before walking into the meeting. Try it, it's a great conversation topic. 
  9. One of my worst gaffes: Winning a poker game at a retreat when only the CEO and I were left in the game, having bluffed with a pair of deuces (the CEO had two pair). Curb your competitiveness when smart relationship building so dictates.
  10. If you want to buy time, ask your questioner, "Why do you ask?" or "What prompts that question?"
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