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7 Easy Practices to Make More Clients Choose Your Consulting Firm

You can make your consulting firm more attractive to clients.

In addition to your experience and expertise, (which are both crucial, of course), there are at least seven easy, tactical, practical practices that will make it more likely clients will discuss engagements with you and hire your firm.

7 Easy Practices to Make More Clients Choose Your Consulting Firm

Improve Your Responsiveness

You cannot overestimate the impact responsiveness has on prospects.

When you respond rapidly to inquiries, the likelihood of your inquiries to lead to projects jumps significantly.

Plus, a more responsive consultant will often get the nod over a more experienced competitor

In a competitive situation, the first consulting firm to reply when a prospect is looking for help has a huge edge over the competition.

Turn around responses, documents and proposals in hours, not days or weeks.

What policies and processes can you put in place that will increase your consulting firm’s responsiveness?

Demonstrate the Trust Triangle

Trust is the number one driver of choice when a client is deciding whether or not to work with your firm.

Clients trust you to the extent they believe you’re thinking about their best interests, you’re not going to harm them and you’re likely to help them.

A well-designed discovery process (e.g., the Context Discussion) demonstrates your regard for your client by proactively raising concerns and by prioritizing their needs over the scope of your project.

Are you bringing up issues, risks and concerns during your discovery process? Are you overtly making suggestions that benefit the prospect rather than you?

Act Relatably

Consulting is a human endeavor and clients will be more interested in working with your firm if it feels like working with you and your team will be enjoyable.

Clients frequently choose a consulting firm with whom they experience great rapport over a firm that is objectively more qualified.

If you easily remember names and details about others and are naturally charismatic, you have a big head start.

The rest of us have to work harder and will benefit from taking three steps:

  • Make a conscious choice to be interested in people.
  • Practice attending to the person you’re conversing with (rather than multi-tasking).
  • Push your “left brain” predilections into the background so that emotional aspects of your conversations take precedence.

What are you doing to improve your consulting firm’s relatability to others?

What kind of person rubs you or your team the wrong way, and what can you do to maintain your relatability when you encounter that personality type?

Prioritize Direction over Precision

Prospects are generally seeking a solution to their problem, not the solution.

Further, in most cases the roughly right answer today is better than the precisely right answer next month.

Consulting firms can become overly focused on details, unhelpfully enamored of their own processes or passionately absorbed in their area of expertise. The extra decimal place of precision probably won’t make any difference in the client’s real world.

Promise rapid transportation to Tahiti rather than more complicated, rigorous, drawn out routes to Nirvana.

Constantly ask, “Will delving even deeper on this solution make a meaningful impact on the client’s results?”

What can you do to offer faster, good-enough results rather than textbook-perfect, unduly detailed answers?

Emphasize Your Excellence, Not Your Difference

Similarly, prospects want a solution that works, not a solution that’s different.

Too many consulting firms are focused on their point of difference and what makes them unique.

Clients will choose your firm because you deliver consistent, outstanding results, not because you get there via some oddball, “only we do it” methodology.

Highlight your firm’s track record of delivering the desired outcome, not the features, attributes, or processes that your approach different.

Are you overly focused on your point of difference? What can you do to cast a brighter light on how good you are?

Simplify Your Communication

Lucidity counts.

In your consulting firm’s Fishing Line, your proposal your final deliverable and in all other touch points, how you communicate matters.

Firms that exhibit concise, easily understood language attract and win engagements.

In contrast, abstruse, jargon-laden marketing materials and proposals make your prospect work too hard. Rather than making you look smarter, they create an impression you’ll be painful to have on the team.

What can you do to boil your Fishing Line, value proposition and/or offering down to a handful of words? For every document you write, can you communicate your ultimate message in one or two short sentences?

Exude Passion

If you don’t exhibit passion for your work, your clients and the results you create, why would a client be passionate about paying your consulting firm to help them?

Let’s say one consulting firm tells a prospect, “We’re comfortable delivering your outcome with quality.” You come along and gush to the same prospect, “We can totally do this. We love these types of projects.” Who will win the project? You.

With solid results and testimonials behind you, it’s easy to communicate unwavering belief in your offering with sincerity, not braggadocio.

What can you do to bolster your confidence and spark your passion?

What else makes clients choose your consulting firm?


4 Comments
  1. Sean Hale
    July 10, 2024 at 8:59 am Reply

    This is great, particularly: “in most cases the roughly right answer today is better than the precisely right answer next month.” May I quote you, David?

    It resonates for me because I’ve seen over and over how perfectionism becomes penny wise and pound foolish. When it comes to things like airline safety, we definitely need precision, but for so many other things building one perfect widget can take ten times as long as getting one that’s very good (and meets the client’s needs).

    • David A. Fields
      July 10, 2024 at 9:25 am Reply

      Exactly right, Sean. My vote is for airline maintenance consultants to err on the side of precision! For most of the rest of us, “Working to a 95” is best for the client and for our firms.

      Thank you for weighing in, Sean!

  2. Mark Friedman
    July 11, 2024 at 2:28 pm Reply

    David,

    These are all very good points and you articulate them clearly. Thank you for summarizing them and helping us to think about what is truly important in building a good relationship with clients.

    • David A. Fields
      July 12, 2024 at 12:57 pm Reply

      Your feedback is very generous, Mark, and much appreciated. Undoubtedly, there are other easy practices that will also help clients choose your firm. The seven above are a good starting point.

      Thanks for letting me know your thoughts, Mark!

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