As a consultant, it’s your job to always be acutely attuned to the needs of your clients. They hired you because they need you and your expertise to help them find the flaws in their business strategies, revitalize the company, and ultimately reach their financial goals.
However, prioritizing the needs of clients often makes it difficult for consultants to find the time to work on goals within their own business. In other words, as a consultant, you put a lot of time into helping others grow their business, but don’t forget to invest time into your own business, too!
Here are 4 ways to supercharge your own earning power as a business consultant.1.Make the Consultation Process More Efficient
Being good at preparing, planning, and scheduling will dramatically improve your efficiency.
To avoid wasting time or undermine your credibility as a consultant, it’s imperative to enter every client meeting fully prepared to discuss any topic relevant to the client’s needs. Before ever setting foot in the door, determine your objectives for the meeting, what goals your client is likely aiming to achieve, and what you can do to help. Do extra research, too: think about likely objections and how to overcome them before they’re presented.
Even still, the real challenge comes after the meeting ends. Make sure you deliver on your promises, keeping your clients informed every step of the way throughout your process. Set deadlines with open communication, which not only keeps objectives clear but helps build credibility and trust between you and the client.
The better job you do at establishing systems and processes with your clients, the more efficient your job will be done. Areas to focus on include maximizing billable hours and the invoicing process.
2. Build Your Reputation
Your clients believe you can help them make changes that stimulate success, and this requires them to have confidence in your skills, expertise, and credibility.
Therefore, as a consultant, your reputation means everything.
Although building a reputation is something that takes years, there are three ways to bolster the process at any stage:
- Online presence: Use your website as a crucial opportunity to communicate with potential clients about what important services you can provide to them and their businesses. What kind of person are you? What specialized knowledge can you offer? What are your most impressive stories of client success? Make sure that your website expresses the core values of your practice and that it is easily identifiable by those that visit.
- Word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied clients: The expressed satisfaction of a happy client is a powerful influence tool. Go above and beyond to keep your clients content, and they will naturally sing your praise.
- Networking: To get to know others in the industry, meet new clients, maintain connections, or make any career-advancing connection, networking is an absolute must. Whether you’re handing out a business card, connecting on LinkedIn, or exchanging numbers, make sure you are always prepared to give your information when making a professional contact.
Again, building your reputation takes time, but if you consistently put your best foot forward when making connections and handling clients, credibility will naturally follow.3. Charge More for Your Services
With a plethora of competition in the consulting market, clients will often gravitate towards those with the most experience and credibility offering their services for the lowest price.
Want in on the secret for avoiding this?
It might seem odd, but doing so declares your inherent value as a consultant and boosts your credibility--this is proven consumer psychology. As opposed to those who take on more clients for less, by charging more you maintain only a select number of clients, offering them specifically tailored and focused support. This will also help ensure that your quality of work is greater than your quantity.
Also, consider focusing on a specific niche within your field of business. As an expert, you will be able to charge more for your specialized knowledge in that certain sector. Clients who need highly-specific skills will be more than willing to pay up.4. Charge Money Upfront - More Specifically, At Least Half
A common mistake many consultants make is waiting for the end to collect money. Do not do this. Ask for payment up-front, and at least half. This is the best way to safeguard against any issues that might arise.
Don’t waste time chasing your clients for the money that they owe you. By collecting money up-front you’re saving yourself from awkward situations with your clients and opening up time that can be allocated to better things.
Putting These Tips to Practice
As a consultant, the client's needs always come first. However, don’t forget the necessary and vital value of your specialized knowledge and skill. By implementing these simple steps, you’ll not only continue to drive your client’s success and prosperity but boost your own earnings and credibility, too!