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Questions & Answers

Posted by Sarah Reidy on 2014-04-26 21:45:24
Title: I recently launched a consulting business and I am wondering how to propose my services properly. A...
Category: Marketing

I recently launched a consulting business and I am wondering how to propose my services properly. A recent email to a general manager has resulting in him becoming extremely rude and almost irate at the suggestion that his company faced some issues that affected reputation & profit, and I was offering a consulting service to help with that. It has really rocked my confidence. How do I propose to help if I can't mention a companies shortcomings? And should I respond to rude responses or just ignore them?

Answer:

Amy & Danielle
2014-05-02 16:28:06

In a business such as yours, where so much depends on the interaction between you and your client, relationships are everything.  Building relationships with future clients takes time.  In fact, it’s not unlike building a friendship.  Much as you likely wouldn’t bring up a new friend’s faults in the early days, it’s probably best to focus on the positives with a potential client.  If you were making friends with this person, you’d try to make things upbeat – even fun – and you’d empathize rather than criticize.  We’re not suggesting that you have to seem fun to future customers, but you will want them to feel comfortable with you and positive about your relationship.

Since consultants are most often brought in at times of crisis or transition, clients may not be at their best when they work with you.  We’re big believers that business is extremely personal and therefore, the level of comfort potential clients have with you is paramount. 

Our suggestion is to focus on communicating your strengths rather than the company’s shortcomings.  Tell future clients about your past successes with other companies and let them recognize their own corporate ‘pain’ in the stories.  In our experience, some clients need to interact with a new supplier numerous times – possibly even over a course of years – before they are ready to commit to working together.  It’s a matter of establishing credibility and developing trust.

Good luck!

Danielle Botterell & Amy Ballonsparkconsulting.ca