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Collaborating with Other Consultants

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013
Like other consultants, I sometimes hit a feast/famine cycle, and lack the expertise to take on some new work I encounter. How do other consultants handle this?

You are not alone if you encounter these challenges. In addition, some consultants find it a bit lonely doing everything by themselves. Because of this, many consultants work with other consultants.

There are several ways to collaborate with other consultants:

  • Refer other consultants, especially if it's work you no longer perform or dislike doing.
  • Do a joint project with another consultant. However, make sure you:
    • take good care of the other consultant
    • work as equal peers vs. boss/subordinate
    • have styles and values that compliment vs. conflict
  • Create a consulting partnership.

TIP:If you are considering working with other consultants, consider the IMC USA virtual meeting, Forming Consulting Alliances on Friday, April 19th.
It's FREE to IMC Members and $19 for non-Members.

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Plan to Succeed at Networking

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 11, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013
Armed with a purpose and goals for attending networking events, is there anything else to consider for success at networking events?

Key #3: Plan to Succeed
An old saying is "those who fail to plan, plan to fail". In addition to a purpose and goals for your networking event, you need to develop your plan.
  • What resources do you need? How can anyone attend a networking event with no business cards, but many do!
  • Brush up on skills with a solid answer to the question, "What do you do?" and a listening mindset.
  • If you don't have a networking event scheduled in the next week, call someone who might be a prospect or referral and have coffee with them.

TIP: Check your business card supply. Put some in your briefcase, wallet, and car glove compartment (to name a few) so you are never caught short.

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Set Some Networking Goals

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013

I've identified some networking events and a good reason for attending. What should I do next? How can I have a better sense of accomplishment and meet my objective of getting more clients?

Key #2: Set Some Networking Goals Consider a list like this as goals for your next networking event:
  • Meet X new people and get their contact information.
  • Meet someone who works for (or knows someone who works for) ABC company.
  • Meet every [pick a prospect category for yourself - such as sales manager] in the room. If you can't find any of these people, this might alert you that this is NOT a networking event you should continue to attend.

TIP: Set clear and measurable goals for your next networking event to increase your contact and prospect list. Fill that pipeline with new names every chance you can.

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Networking is a Science

Posted By Administration, Friday, April 5, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013

I've recently moved to a new city. Since I don't know very many people, I'm attending as many business functions as possible. Any ideas on becoming a great networker?

I have moved around many times in my career, and I consider networking one of my key methods of prospecting. It always surprises me how poorly some people network. No business cards - rambling and ineffective "what do you do" responses - and this is the lifeblood of your business!

There are 3 things that I believe are critical to being a great networker. The next 3 tips will highlight these key actions.

Key #1: Have a Purpose for Attending 
Arrive at any networking event with clear objectives in mind.
  • Know who you are looking for. Perhaps your prospect is at the CEO or CFO level, so seek them out. Perhaps you are seeking to connect with a someone who works for or knows someone from a company you are targeting as a prospect.
  • Ask people not in your target if they know anyone who is.
  • Allocate your time in an appropriate manner. Always gather cards and chat briefly with non-prospects but spend more time with those who are. Don't hang with anyone you know.

TIP:Think about WHY you are attending your next networking event. Have no networking events scheduled in the new week or so? That's another problem - and another action to take today.

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Is This Really a Prospect?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 28, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013
How can I better determine if a prospect is really a good lead for me? On more than one occasion, I have met with a prospect that seemed promising, and then it either went nowhere or was a waste of my time. What are ways to keep this from happening?

Asking key questions up front can help reduce the chances of taking too much time with a prospect who is really a "suspect" - someone who won't result in worthwhile business for you. Resist the tendency to get into "sell" mode too early.

Just this week I called a referral prospect to explore a potential project. I had been told the client was interested in a certain direction and to explore their use of one of my surveys. Asking some probing questions revealed they had been doing something along those lines for the past 3 years - and were getting ready to start the survey again within the week.

But the prospect was open to my questions and I was able to uncover a complimentary need that could potentially be a far larger project than what I originally thought I was calling for.

TIP:Consider using some of Alan Weiss' Questions for Any Sales Situation:
  • Why do you think we might be a good match?
  • Is there a budget for this project?
  • How important is this need (on a scale of 1-10)?
  • Who, if anyone, is demanding this be accomplished?
  • How soon are you willing to begin?
  • Have you tried this before? What were the results?

Another source to consider is next week's IMC USA Academy offering, Stop Pitching, Start Offering by Tim Wackel.
If you want to help clients discover what they really want, click here for details. It's $29 for members and $79 for non-members.

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