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#288: Getting Some Quick Consulting Work

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I just got started in consulting and am looking to jump-start my practice. I am willing to do all the things you've been suggesting, but I need some immediate cash flow or I won't make it. Any ideas?

Here are three suggestions that might help:
  1. Go to your largest prospect(s) (or industry association) and offer to do a study/analysis for them, one that they would find valuable and offer to do it at whatever they would be willing to pay. Don't negotiate. Get them to agree the study/analysis might be valuable and show them why you are uniquely qualified to do this and that the fee can't be a problem since they will set it.
  2. Offer to put together a unique seminar for your field and ask for a one-time development fee, and reasonable fees for presenting it, granting the sponsor co-ownership of the IP (intellectual property).
  3. Send a letter to your top ten prospects and make them an offer they can't refuse, i.e., delivering results or your fee is zero.
The focus here is results that these prospects feel are credible based on the way presented and your background. Don’t forget: these are very short-term strategies and you should let the recipients of your communications understand the rationale, i.e., you are just getting started and willing to do this now. Later they will be standing in line (if you do all the smart things we suggest, and you come up with and deliver results for clients).

Tip: This is a great test of your consulting services' market value. However, make sure you circle back to confirm whether your clients felt that they got their money's worth. Many will pay you want you and they negotiated but you might be pleasantly surprised to hear that you were worth more than they paid. Who knows, they might even be willing to change the payment to something closer to the value received.

P.S. This may also work well in slow times for etablished consultants.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  client development  marketing  proposals  prospect 

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