Back to the List

10 Triggers that Set Off Growth Explosions at Your Consulting Firm

Is there a way to make your consulting firm’s business development efforts easier, stable and more effective? Yeparoonie. There sure is.

Visibility-building undergirds your consulting firm’s endeavors to attract clients. And investing ongoing, consistent energy and time is required to reliably produce prospects and leads.

In contrast, haphazard, sporadic efforts yield disappointing results.

Unfortunately, visibility-building activities are hard. They demand willpower, brain power and discipline, all of which are depletable.

That means in any short time period, your supply is limited.

For example, if you rely on possessing sufficient stamina and verve at the end of your busy consulting days to engage in outreach, chances are you’re not calling prospects very often.

You need a method for conducting visibility-building activities that doesn’t depend on depletable resources.


Rituals circumvent the need for energy, willpower and discipline to fuel visibility-building activity.

As a result, rituals make your consulting firm’s business development efforts regular, automatic and dependable—exactly what you need to attract more clients.

Intentions leave room for you to opt out of your beneficial action. (“Sigh, I’m just too tired to make phone calls. And besides, I need to run out for more Raisinets.”) Rituals, on the other hand, involve no choice.

Habits describe your usual behavior, but allow for exceptions.

In contrast, rituals are Pavlovian, bell-rings-salivation-commences, non-negotiable behaviors designed to boost your consulting firm’s visibility-building.

How to Create Powerful, Visibility-Building Rituals

Rituals consist of two components: Triggers and Behaviors.

After the prayer leader intones, “And we all say,”the congregation responds, “Amen.”
Before dispatching his Hill Street police officers onto their beats,Sgt. Esterhaus always cautioned, “Be careful out there.”
Every time my Dad sits at a restaurant table, he assembles all flatware within reach into a balancing, kinetic table sculpture.

To create visibility-building, prospect-attracting rituals for you and your firm, marry very specific Triggers to equally specific Behaviors.

Triggers can be times, dates, or situations.

Also, remember that rituals can incorporate rewards. For instance, publicly presenting your team’s gold star to the team member most responsible for a new client win.

After a bit of thought, I quickly identified 30 generic Triggers and Behaviors that could be developed into rituals. Some combinations are illustrated below.

10 Triggers that Set Off Growth Explosions at Your Consulting Firm

  1. At 8:00 a.m. on Wednesdays make at least 3 outreach calls,
  2. On the first Tuesday of each month, call a contact to say, “Thank you.”
  3. The Monday after daylight savings time, clean all “deadwood” from your CRM.
  4. Immediately after every phone call with a prospect, write a one-sentence prompt to help you with your next conversation.
  5. Last thing before you leave the office on Friday, write 3 accomplishments you’re proud of and three crucial, business-development activities you’ll bang out next week.
  6. After boarding a flight, hand write at least one note to a prospect.
  7. Each morning, before you look at email, write (i.e., create IP) for at least 10 minutes.
  8. Whenever you have dinner “on the road” for a client, search the news for mentions of the client.
  9. 10 minutes after you’ve been stood up for a meeting or phone call, reach out to two contacts you haven’t connected with in at least six months.
  10. I’ve left this spot open for you to contribute your idea.

What business-building rituals do you observe without fail in your consulting practice?

  1. John Ennis
    November 13, 2019 at 6:08 am Reply

    Great article as usual, David. Numbers 4 and 7 are particularly good. In fact, I’m going to start implementing number 4 today.

    A ritual for me is, as soon as I finish a podcast with a guest, I record the intro and name the episode while the content is still fresh in my mind, upload all the information my assistant and sound engineer need to create and post the episode, and message them on Slack.

    • David A. Fields
      November 13, 2019 at 7:27 am Reply

      The “immediately after X, I do Y to maximize the value” is a great ritual, John. You’re getting more done, and more done better. Impressive.

      I’m sure many other readers will adopt your ritual. Thanks for contributing.

  2. Kerry
    November 13, 2019 at 6:12 am Reply

    Hey, David. These are great ideas to add to my triggers collection!

    What I’m already doing, and have been for years, is to use daily exercise as a trigger to prompt continuing education. I ride a stationary cycle an hour a day and lift weights three days a week. I listen to (while weight-lifting) and watch (while cycling) programs from my podcast, YouTube and subscriptions.

    • David A. Fields
      November 13, 2019 at 7:29 am Reply

      You work out your body and your mind at the same time… religiously? Whoa, the rest of us will never catch you!

      Seriously, that’s an outstanding and inspiring ritual, Kerry.

    • Tracy
      November 17, 2019 at 12:37 pm Reply

      I do the same Kerry. I hit the gym every morning for one hour and use that time to feed my mind personal and spiritual development and get my cardio/weights in at the same time…AND I do intermittent fasting. Working on reaching that same level of commitment, consistency and persistence in my business????????

      • David A. Fields
        November 17, 2019 at 2:32 pm Reply

        The fact that you have created such terrific rituals to feed your spiritual, intellectual and physical self every morning is a help to your business, Tracy. You are, without doubt, a better consultant and a more powerful force for your clients.
        Thank you for sharing your inspiring ritual, Tracy.

  3. Carlos
    November 13, 2019 at 7:16 am Reply

    Great article, David.

    • David A. Fields
      November 13, 2019 at 7:31 am Reply

      Look, you’ve started a ritual of commenting on articles and/or offering positive feedback. Both are terrific, Carlos, and I appreciate hearing from you.

  4. Mary Ann Dekker
    November 13, 2019 at 8:08 am Reply

    Great perspective, David! Never thought of my routines as rituals, but you’ve incentivized me to formalize what I have been doing sporadically- if I “felt” like it- , which doesn’t work! Making specific tasks “rituals” should take away my temptation to “choose-or-not-to-choose”. I’ll do it. Thanks!

    • David A. Fields
      November 13, 2019 at 8:39 am Reply

      You’ve hit the nail on the head, Mary Ann. When we rely on “feeling like it” to accomplish critical tasks, those critical tasks cling to our to-do lists, mocking us with their undoneness. Tying critical tasks into a ritual knocks takes the to-do list entirely out of play.

      Thanks for contributing you reaction, Mary Ann.

  5. William Avon
    November 13, 2019 at 8:33 am Reply

    David, I am refreshed to read this post. The typical blog these days seems to have a singular goal of attracting readers solely for SEO purposes to drop a cookie and get the ad pixel firing on top of thin content. This post, however, has real-world and realistic value based examples for growth-oriented routines with the intention of sharing knowledge. No empty “SEO type content here”. I love the post and look forward to reading more. Have a great day!

    • David A. Fields
      November 13, 2019 at 8:45 am Reply

      Bill, ad pixels and SEO may or may not be relevant, but you’ll never see me drop a cookie. Perish the thought! (Except, maybe a gingersnap–I’m not overly fond of them.)

      I do appreciate the positive feedback, Bill.

Leave а Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prev Article

How to Ensure Your Clients Happily Write Your Consulting Firm Big Checks

Next Article

Consulting Firms: The “Prepare Your Client to Succeed” Checklist


Subscribe to receive insiders’ access to information and resources that will help you grow your consulting firm.

Note: By subscribing you are confirming that you have read and agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. You are also confirming your consent to receive emails from David about his articles, programs and recommendations.

Firm Type