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July 25, 2008

CONSULTANTS CONNECT!

Last Wednesday, we had a our first Consultants Connection Affinity Group lunch meeting. This meeting was designed for IGC members who are consultants and coaches and who want the additional support of a peer group who can share, discuss, and brainstorm topics that are particularly relevent to consultancies and service businesses.

Such things as how to handle difficult clients, pricing, word-of-mouth and referral marketing, leveraging strategic partnerships, training, continuing education, resources, best practices, etc.

A really wonderful opportunity for members from a variety of industries to come together to share challenges, strategies amd network together.

The turn out was amazing, the discussion was lively, and the exchange was rich!

Here are a few take aways:

Q. How do I avoid giving away all of my ideas in my proposal but at the same time demonstrating my value which will help secure the client engagement?

A. Have the client pay for the proposal if they want one that is more in depth than an overview of the project. This will allow the client to get an idea of how you work and how you will work together! Their is work involved from your end, however, if they do not use you (but like your ideas), everyone has been compensated fairly. The client demonstrates respect for you from the beginning which will start the relationship off on the right foot! It is actually a wonderful way of working together in a limited capacity before signing any agreements or long term committments!

A few tips on how to grow your network to help secure your next client and improve your business development efforts overall!

1. Make a committment to meet a certain number of new people a month - this can be in a variety of capacities (social and business) but this will help you expand your network for future work.

2. Unless you want people to walk away thinking you are a generic "consultant" clearly articulate the types of projects you work on, the types of clients you seek to work with! This way, people can be better equipped to help you or hire you!

3. Keep in touch with new contacts - find create ways to make multiple impressions with new contacts - for example, send annual holiday cards, monthly newsletters, a follow up emails, interesting articles, research, findings, and trends, etc.

Join us for the next one. We are looking forward to it! Tuesday, September 23rd; 2-4pm

1 comment:

Mista said...

I am so excited about Consultants' Connection! I had to miss the last meeting due to my scheduling (perhaps a topic I will look for help on with the group), but I love it. Thanks for this post.