Consultants Helping Consultants


Consultants meeting consultants

Getting to know other consultants

If You’re New to Consulting, You Don’t Have to Go it Alone.

The world of consulting to small and medium-size businesses can be a very lonely existence, especially if you’re working out of your home and have no full-time staff.

Your marketing activities no doubt include networking in the trade associations that serve your target market. But are you meeting and networking with other consultants, especially those whose fields complement yours?

Consultants helping consultants has multiple benefits.

Build Liaisons With Other Consultants and Refer Each Other.

To begin with, your credibility can be greatly enhanced when a client asks you about a consulting assignment that is out of your area of specialty and you can refer someone with that specific discipline.

In many cases where multiple disciplines are required, knowing other consultants allows you to put together a joint venture.  Of course, this presents a different opportunity as well as some challenges. You don’t want to expose your client to someone you barely know and whose work product you’ve never seen, so approach such a joint venture with caution.

Make Sure Your Marketing Plan Includes Building Relationships with Other Consultants.

Your marketing plan should contain strategies and tactics for including other consultants in the section on developing referral sources. Take the time to research non-competing but closely aligned fields, and build a plan to reach out to professionals in those fields.

Building credibility within the consulting community is not something that will take place overnight. It’s a long-term process, so give yourself the time! If you’ve exhausted the first round of possibilities, you may want to take a more in-depth look at where you might find referral sources, and how best to approach — and nurture — them. The Marketing Machine’s Dynamic Referral System — Building Solid Relationships covers the topic in significant detail.

Join or Form a Consulting Network Group.

By joining with other consultants in your area and offering a regular series of seminars, you all get a chance to display your case histories, your skills and accomplishments to each other as well as to businesses in the community. The Institute of Management Consultants (IMC) is a national organization composed of largely small business consulting firms. Members meet regularly and non-members are welcome. This group of consultants helping other consultants can be especially useful for people new to the consulting field.

Network on Purpose.

Getting back to solitude, what may well be your biggest obstacle to maintaining a consistent and positive attitude so necessary to succeed as an entrepreneur.

You need a network and regularly-scheduled ways to stay in contact. Not just in actual meetings, but on line and by phone. Consider joining appropriate LinkedIn groups and becoming an active contributor. In fact, you may wish to start your OWN LinkedIn group.

When it comes time to speak one-on-one with some of your new contacts, VoiP (voice over internet protocol) and services like Skype, FaceTime  and WhatsApp on the iPhone and IPad offer ways of getting to know one another that are much more powerful than mail or a simple phone call. And the costs are minimal. Get to know these technologies and use them.

The more you build and nurture your network, the more your phone will ring.

Joe Krueger
The Marketing Machine®

P.S. If you plan to use any of the excellent video conferencing tools, be sure that you are set up to present a professional background for the call! You may be centered on the screen, but bad lighting can make you look tired or even scary. If behind you, what your contact sees is a bookcase with half-fallen books, or an open door, or a pile of laundry — you are doing yourself a disservice. Set up your “stage” and use it! Otherwise, stick to the phone.

 

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