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Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of The Society for the Advancement of Consulting, LLC - Issue #8: May, 2004

Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of the Society for Advancement of Consulting, LLC
  • Keep a time log of two weeks of your working time (and personal time, if you like). People are generally shocked at where there time is going and what aspects of their lives are being "robbed." Keep it in 15-minute intervals. Just think like a lawyer trying to bill as many clients as possible.
     
  • Are you attaching your name to everything appropriate to enhance that brand? Instead of "Ten Techniques to…" consider "Jane Thompson's Ten Techniques to…." If you do this consistently, your name will become much more widely known.
     
  • Create templates for your common writing: thank you notes; invoices; follow-up letters; proposals; confirmations; etc.
     
  • If you still don't have a separate, business line of credit, get one. Even if you don't currently need it, borrow some money and pay it off again. That way, it is there when you need it.
     
  • Upgrade your current client relationships. Don't become complacent. Ask to meet new people and/or executives you could never reach before.
     
  • Learn to use your travel agent in 60 seconds: Speed dial on a cell phone, guaranteed access when you call, knows your preferences without being told, gives you options fast.
     
  • About four different wireless companies (e.g., T-Mobile) cover most of the major airports. Sign up for them in the airport on a daily rate (in other words, you only pay when you're there and using it) and keep the passwords on your lap top desktop. That way you can access email even with just a few minutes to spare while sitting at the gate. (This isn't fanaticism, this is responsiveness which begets business.)
     
  • Establish a college affiliation. The title "adjunct professor" is very important to some trade associations, for example. And you might just enjoy the work!
     
  • Instead of "cold calling," war-up the call by sending a sample ahead of your value oriented specifically to that buyer. For example, if you provide presentation coaching services, send an audio or video of a recent executive's speech from that company with specific improvement ideas.
     
  • NEVER be reluctant to simply ask, "What's your budget?" A great deal of disappointment and conflict can be avoided if you merely ascertain what the buyer's funds (or expectations) are.

Suggested reading: Making Rain, Andrew Sobel (Wiley, 2003). A good book on building long-term, loyal client relationships.

 
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