Your clients and prospects need help right now, no matter what industry they’re in.
And your consulting firm has needs too. Little things like projects, revenue and Kreuther’s chocolates.
You know that your consulting firm’s contact list—clients, prospects, influencers, partners, etc.—is the lifeblood of your business and the source of a better future.
So, how do you effectively reach out to improve your consulting firm’s short-term and long-term outlook?
Literally, how? Should you text? Send a letter? Flash “Will consult for bon bons” in Morse code from a safe distance?
For that matter, consider how you decide which medium to use for any communication with your contacts.
Is it okay to formalize the scope of a consulting engagement via Slack? Should you approach relationships you’ve let lapse with elegantly calligraphed letters, as if you’re Lord Grantham of Downton Abbey?
The rules of personal interaction are in flux, and this is a good opportunity for you to reexamine how you communicate with your consulting firm’s contacts.
7 Considerations for Choosing a Communication Vehicle
Is your message simple or multi-faceted? Government contracting regulations probably shouldn’t be sent via text.
How important is it that your contact receive your message this instant? Is later today okay? Any time this year?
What does the vehicle you choose communicate about your message’s importance? Does a post-card scream “Drop everything!” or “Drop me to the bottom of the pile”?
Some vehicles lend themselves to communicating precise, technical detail. Others, not so much. How technical is your communication?
How crucial is communicating your emotional intent? What about gauging the recipient’s feelings or creating an emotional connection?
Rich vehicles (like phone, video and, eventually, in-person) are required to accurately convey feelings and intent.
Your contacts may have expressed a desire to receive information via chiseled hieroglyphics or smoke signal. Their personal style may be low-information or high-information, and that will dictate how receptive they are to different vehicles.
That said, your clients may try to hide behind thin media like text and email. Part of your consulting firm’s value is pushing them into deeper, high-content conversations using better vehicles.
For legal or personal reasons, do you want a record of the communication? Do you want to ensure there isn’t any record?
Buying consulting services is an emotional decision, fraught with risk.
And, since virtually everyone is currently dealing with heightened anxiety, now is the time for you and your consulting firm to lean into richer communication approaches.
Pick up the phone and call your Network Core, especially your A1s.
Email is usually fine for your Network Periphery. It’s certainly better to reach out with an email than to not reach out at all!
Strive to elevate your conversations from phone or email to video for the follow-up conversation.
Video calls need to be arranged in advance; however, they’ve suddenly become much more acceptable and are, by far, the best medium outside of in-person meetings to build relationships.
What else do you consider when you’re determining how to reach out? How are you communicating to your contact list now?
Text and images are © 2020 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.