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Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of The Society for the Advancement of Consulting, LLC - Issue #94: July, 2011

  • Always make it your buyer’s responsibility to hold his or her key people accountable for aspects of your project. Try to make this part of their incentive emphasis areas, and volunteer to provide input based on your experiences with them.

  • When the buyer asks for special terms or reduced fees or any other unacceptable changes, ask, “Do you allow your customers to tell you how to set fees and bill them?”

  • With today’s nutty airline systems and bizarre security, you’re crazy to schedule any connection of less than 90 minutes, even though they are “legal” in terms of being able to book them.

  • You need the following types of attorneys: litigation, estate planning, patent and trademark, and corporation/taxes. You don’t want to try to find a good one under pressure. Find them, create a relationship, and provide a small bit of business if you can.

  • Always make sure your rental car has GPS, no matter what the extra charge. Using your cell phone for that purpose is distracting and dangerous, and not as reliable.

  • Skype has become a great alternative: cheap, reliable, and of high enough quality to hugely enhance conversations and influence through body language and facial expression. Dress appropriately and be carefula about your background and ambient noise.

  • Take photos of wine bottle labels with your smart phone when someone orders a wine you truly like, and use them for your own reference when you’re entertaining and want to impress.

  • Learn your prospect and client product lines. I once entered into a humorous bet with a senior manager at Toyota. He asked me to choose any care as his deposit for the bet, and I said, loving sports cars, an NSX. “That would be fine,” he icily responded, but that’s made by Acura, not by us.”

  • Even in an electronic, digital age, these words tend to capture attention: unique, new, distinct, unprecedented, dramatic, breakthrough, and so froth. Do you use these words and phrases in your promotion and collateral?

  • Return calls rapidly. It’s not at all uncommon for the first responder to be chosen when prospects have burning issues and urgent deadlines.
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