7 Steps For Getting Great Results From Initial Consultations

IMG_2329Running a small company is a lot of work, particularly when you run a one-person shop as a freelancer or consultant. At that scale, every client counts. When a new prospective client crosses your path, it’s only natural to want to give them plenty of time. Meeting face-to-face, perhaps sitting down for an hour over a cup of coffee, seems like the right way to have an initial consultation. From a sales perspective, however, it’s absolutely wrong.

More accurately, it’s ineffective and inefficient. Spending an hour on your initial consultation, only to find that you’re a bad fit for each other, represents more than a sale that didn’t happen. It also represents an hour that you can’t charge for, and couldn’t spend finding new clients. When you bill by the hour, time is money. Continue reading

Ep. 142 – Sale Deconstructed: Initial Consultation Approach, Part 2

SIBP-Blog-NEW-5When you’re billing by the hour, every moment you spend talking with a potential client matters. That’s one reason why those hour-long initial consultations can be so frustrating, particularly when they don’t result in a sale. Is there an alternative? Have you been doing it wrong this whole time?

In this episode, host and business coach Tom Ryan continues his seven-point plan to make the most out of an initial consultation. As always, Tom is joined by co-host and producer Jason Pyles. Continue reading

Rethinking The Initial Sales Consultation

IMG_2329One of the best things about being a business coach is that I get to meet a lot of entrepreneurs in a wide variety of fields. I’m often struck by how diverse the local business community is, and by how similar their needs are when it comes to growing those businesses. My background is in working with high-growth startups — tech, manufacturing and service companies, mainly — but recently I’ve started to work with smaller, more creatively focused businesses. To my surprise, it turns out that both types of company have a lot of things in common. No matter what industry you’re in, some challenges are universal.

Recently, I was talking with the owner of a one-woman graphic design firm, and she was telling me about her struggles with landing clients. She was spending a lot of time meeting with prospective customers, but not landing as many of those job as she wanted to. Despite her best efforts, she just wasn’t getting enough business. Continue reading

Ep. 141 – Sale Deconstructed: Initial Consultation Approach Part 1

SIBP-Blog-NEW-4Meeting with prospective clients can be a time-intensive process. It can also be a frustrating one, particularly when those meetings don’t result in a sale. There are few things more disheartening than spending an hour talking over coffee with a potential client, only to have them give their business to someone else.

In this episode, host and business coach Tom Ryan discusses a seven-point plan to make that initial consultation both more efficient and more likely to result in a sale. As always, Tom is joined by co-host and producer Jason Pyles. Continue reading