This post is the first of a series discussing proven approaches that enable consultants to build valued sustainable business mentoring engagements. The first critical step is to maximise your own consulting confidence in the value you deliver to your clients. It is also a step that you have to keep repeating and updating.
Our Consulting Sales Reality
Selling yourself is an integral part of being a consultant, business advisor, coach… In sales, it is more effective to retain existing customers than to prospect for new ones. We all know that, and when it comes to consulting, we know that rule also applies.
So when you decide to become a business advisor / consultant, you need to implement proven processes that are going to enable you to move from the ups and downs of single projects to more sustainable business mentoring programs. I call it becoming the client’s “Enduring Mentor” delivering value month after month.
Building your Confidence
The level of confidence you have, in yourself and your ability, is part of the body language you covertly communicate to others. It is therefore vital that your self-confidence is at its peak to ensure you give the best impression of you.
And is your confidence narrow or is its application wide and flexible? How much scope does it really give you to win with enduring mentoring programs?
So, what can you do to believe in yourself? To make you feel great about who you are and what you offer? It is called preparation! Experience shows that the following 3 actions make a real difference to the effectiveness of your preparation.
Assess your credentials
What you offer is principally based on your knowledge and experience. Here are 7 questions you can ask yourself honestly before meeting a prospect or new client:
- What in your (consulting and corporate) experience will prepare you for this engagement?
- What were your successes and what mistakes did you make along the way?
- Did you set clear objectives, and did you achieve them?
- What measures have you used to gauge your success?
- Did you have performance indicators to monitor your journey?
- How did you involve the stakeholders and how did you communicate with them? Was this successful?
- How did you manage resources? Did you keep within budget?
This list actually highlights some of the points that you should plan to monitor systematically in any new project.
Evaluate the engagement
This is a 2-pronged process too:
- First, specifically, match your experience to the engagement to ensure you are the right fit.
- Secondly, honestly evaluate the assignment as an opportunity to stretch safely what you can offer, through trusted “project partners”.
While you don’t need to tick all the boxes yourself, you will need to convince the client that you understand their needs and are their answer to moving their business forward.
Having a network of trusted “partners” who will team up with you makes a big difference to your confidence. However awesome your experience is, you cannot be an expert in everything; nobody has all the answers to all types of client issues and contexts.
What clients will love in you is also your ability to find the best resources and seamlessly co-ordinate a project.
Involve your Network
Do you have a network to support and assist the engagement?
First of all, knowing that you can bring in experienced resources, opens opportunities that you could not take by yourself.
Also, bringing reliable resources does strengthen your engagement. That is because it increases your value to your client who sees you differently as a solutions provider. It shows your client that you, with support from your network, can meet their wide-ranging needs. As they already trust you, they will trust you to involve the right people and find the right solutions
The NCP is a network of experienced professionals that provides expertise and subject matter experience in almost every facet of business. With a network behind you, you will have the confidence to offer a total business mentoring program.
If you do not have a solid network you can call upon with confidence for your next projects, then it is time you address that limitation.
So What Next To Build Enduring Business Mentoring?
If you would like to know more about how a network like ours could work for you, why not catch up informally with me or some of my colleagues from The Network Of Consulting Professionals?
It is a free, and obligation-free, networking opportunity offering a window into building valued business mentoring solutions with confidence.
Are you available in Melbourne or Brisbane for our next get-together casual events? Register here