Many of your consulting firm’s prospects are caught in the eddies of crisis and battling to stay afloat. While they appreciate your relationship-building calls, unfortunately, they’re too preoccupied to fully engage in deep conversations with you.
On the other hand, you know who’s in the same boat as your consulting firm and casting about for new ideas and connections?
Plus, the right partner can contribute more to your consulting firm’s health over the long term than any one client.
A partner is any individual or firm that helps you with your consulting cycle (Winning Engagements and Profitably Creating Value), and/or whom you can help.**
Two examples of partnerships illustrate their value:
- A Connecticut-based consulting firm has a profitable, symbiotic relationship with a recruiting firm. The consulting firm’s work often includes organizational design (which leads to recruiting requirements). The recruiting firm strongly recommends the consulting firm to the executives it places. Each firm only helps the other when it’s in the best interest of the client, of course.
- A Washington-based consulting firm helps its industrial clients derive richer insights from research data. They partnered with a research provider, who now views them as a “secret weapon” to win competitive business. Unsurprisingly, the research provider has become the consulting firm’s favorite source of leads.
The five categories (and examples) of partners below are thought starters for your consulting firm.
5 Types of Consulting Firm Partners
Folks who can help your consulting firm fashion powerful, compelling IP, whose ideas mesh neatly with your firm’s, or who can bring your consulting firm’s models, frameworks and approaches to life.
Similarly, this category includes folks whose IP your consulting firm could build upon.
Examples include professors, industry leaders, inventors, technicians, programmers, developers, integrators and other consulting firms.
Individuals who can raise your consulting firm’s credibility and reputation. Conversely, providers whose fortunes you could influence.
Often we think of influencers inside an organization (e.g., the level below decision makers). External influencers wield far more power.
Consider authors, speakers, bloggers, podcasters, vloggers, YouTubers, journalists, and frequently-cited experts.
Any individuals, firms or organizations whose target and/or tribe overlaps with yours are potential connectors. They can introduce your consulting firm to a slew of new prospective clients, and you can do the same for them.
Salespeople, promotional companies, agencies, community organizers, group leaders, list providers, and public figures exemplify this type of partner.
Providers of any ilk that have the power to make your consulting firm’s offering better, stickier, longer lasting, higher value, sexier, or more broadly applicable.
Of course, the same applies in reverse. Whose offerings could you enhance?
For instance, headhunters, data providers, software developers, implementers, dashboarders, storytellers, and productizers.
The final category or partners includes firms and individuals who can broadcast your message, or whose message you could help to spread.
Representatives of this category include conferences and conference hosts, panel moderators, trade associations, publishers, event organizers, and tribe owners.
I bet that in less than 30 seconds you can identify at least one, high-potential partner for your consulting firm. (Share your idea, with or without specifics, below.)
With two minutes of thought powered by a Passover macaroon, a chocolate Easter egg or non-denominational treat of your choice, you can identify at least one specific, potential partner in each category.
Reach out to each of them over the next couple of days and your consulting firm is virtually guaranteed to launch multiple energizing, exciting, profitable new initiatives.
What other partnerships do you think would be valuable now?
Text and images are © 2023 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.