First impressions count for everything, especially in the consulting business. You need to prove to potential clients that you’re a professional. Otherwise, how do you expect them to trust you? As a consultant, you’re selling yourself. There’s no product or service as such. You are offering clients your wisdom and knowledge. This is what makes consulting such a difficult industry. If you want to impress potential clients, then there’re a few things you need in your arsenal.
- A Polished Appearance
It may sound shallow, but it’s completely true. Would you trust someone to consult you if they turned up wearing jogging bottoms? Okay, so that’s quite an extreme example, but the essence is still there. As we’ve touched on before, you’re selling yourself to a potential client. This means that you need to be well presented. If you meet a client smelling of last night’s beer and sweat, you can bet they’ll be making their excuses. Picture yourself as a product. You’d want to make sure that product was always shown off in the best light. Dress smartly, smell fresh, and polish those shoes.
- A Polished Workplace
Going hand in hand with your polished appearance, the same applies to your workplace. Where will you be meeting clients? If it’s in your lounge, surrounded by kids’ toys, don’t be surprised if they want to leave. You need an office, preferably. You can find companies who do impressive commercial interiors & fitouts. To create a ‘wow-factor’ workplace. If you don’t have the money for something of your own, consider a shared workspace. Many of them come with meeting rooms that you can book out for clients. If you usually work from home, then take your client out for coffee. Try to keep your home and work life separate where possible.
- A Polished Presentation
The sales pitch, presentation, whatever you want to call it. What matters is that it’s in tip-top shape. You don’t want to be fumbling over your words and forgetting what you’re supposed to be saying. This is a surefire way to put potential clients off. You should be practicing that pitch every spare moment. On the toilet, when you’re brushing your teeth, on the train. Make sure that you’ve got it down pat. Be prepared for any questions they might throw your way too. At first it may be difficult to know what kind of things they’re going to ask. However, make a note of any questions you couldn’t answer. Ready for next time.
Finally, one of the most important things any consultant should have. Confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself, then your clients won’t believe in you. Nobody will believe in your business. They’ll go for the consultant who has the passion, confidence and motivation to succeed. Even if you tick all of the other boxes, a lack of confidence can deter potential clients. Make sure you constantly tell yourself you’re the best. Without coming across too arrogant!
Do you tick all of these four boxes? If not, then it could be why potential clients aren’t that impressed. Make sure you’re always polished and oozing confidence. It’s the only way to be a success in consulting.