Getting Started as a Consultant?

Abracadabra! What’s the magic way to launch a successful consultancy business?

Customer business

Okay, you already know the answer. There’s no magic, only hard work—and some common-sense guidelines.

First, it would help if you have 10 or more years of experience in your field. Aside from technical expertise, you should be able to:

  • Build relationships.
  • Build your reputation.
  • Speak comfortably in front of groups of any size, large or small.
  • Write clearly and concisely.
  • Persevere.
  • Deliver the goods – on time.
  • Exceed client expectations—under-commit and over-deliver.
  • Set yourself apart from your competition

Last but definitely not least, you need to be comfortable selling. If not, you’ll face an uphill battle in starting your own consultancy business. Sales and marketing come with the territory if you’re setting yourself up as any kind of entrepreneur.

But selling doesn’t need to be distasteful or difficult if you keep your clients’ needs foremost in your mind. When you focus on how you can help solve your clients’ problems, you take the strain and stress of trying to convince them that you have what they’re looking for.

Focus on the benefits to your clients rather than the features of your products or services. Features are just distinguishing characteristics of something, e.g., the size or speed of a product, or your years of experience if you’re selling your service. Benefits and solutions follow from features. For instance, if your company has access to a network of freelancers, the customer benefit might be fast turnaround time; the problem you solve may be your customer’s pressing deadline.

Don’t make your potential customers figure out why they want your product or service. Spell out the benefits for them. But do list the features as well, since customers may have specific features in mind. Basically, make everything as easy to understand as possible.

The real magic is in knowing how and what to communicate.

mcherylchow@gmail.com' About Cheryl Chow

Writer, Editor, Translator (Japanese/Chinese to English), specializing in Health and Fitness. Owner of My Cat is My Therapist site, exploring the health benefits of the human-animal bond.

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