Your consulting firm delivers creative solutions and excellent execution; thinking and implementation; fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Which of those should take priority (i.e., your time and resources) in order to win more clients?
Let’s say that you, my dear chickadee, want to move from the southwest corner of Main and Broad to the northeast corner. This is an important initiative, so you seek a poultry relocation consultant.
Two candidates emerge:
Cocky Doodledoo Consulting (CDC) claims to have developed four-toed, battery-powered chicken boots to facilitate your trek. Your passage across the tarmac will be fast and comfortably air conditioned. Cost is 200 corn kernels. Admittedly, not many brave bantams have tried the boots and CDC has only moved a couple of adventurous clients.
Rooster Group has developed a well proven and safe path across the road. They’ve perfected it over thousands of crossings with clients ranging from Andalusians to Wyandottes. Cost is 200 corn kernels. Admittedly, the trip is unimaginative and would be somewhat uncomfortable.
Neither consultant inquires why you want to cross the road.
Which consultant would you choose? (I was going to set this up as a poll, but I figured you’d choose battery powered boots just because they sound fun. Let me know in the comments which firm you would have chosen.)
Well, your clients would choose Rooster Group.
Let’s peck at that a bit.
Consultants are smart, curious, creative, analytical (often), and know they need to appear knowledgeable. The perfect mix of traits for inventors.
And invent we do. We dream up new models and formulate methods; we devise distinctions and coin terms. In fact, I have a name for that. (Just kidding.)
However, you’d be wise to temper your consulting firm’s propensity to invent.
Invention is important. Crucial, in fact. However, clients buy from installers, not inventors.
A breakthrough idea, unexecuted, is just a dream.
A mundane idea, fully completed, is progress.
Invest at least as much time and resource practicing and improving the implementation of your consulting firm’s ideas as you do on their incubation and development.
When prospective clients discuss a project with your firm, emphasize your successful application and execution of your ideas and, of course, the resulting benefits received by previous clients.
You love your consulting firm’s Intellectual Property and the unique point of view you’ve developed. That’s fair.
Just keep in mind clients don’t care about that as much as you do. Novelty ruffles their feathers.
Clients want evidence that you can reliably execute a low-risk project that will achieve their Desired Outcome.
Remember, new ideas can be a little scary. And clients are chicken.
Which poultry relocation consulting firm would you have chosen (and why)?
Text and images are © 2022 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.