A consultant emailed me the following question:
Are there firms that help independent consultants find prospective clients? I’m not talking about a call center, but an actual firm that helps me laser in on the clients that fit my services. They contact a prospective client, discuss my firm and let me go in to make the final presentation.
As an office of one, I simply don’t have the time to sell, conduct marketing, and build my expertise. I need help….
Here’s the answer I gave the consultant:
What you’re really talking about—someone else sells the work and you do it—goes under two names:
1) being an employee at a larger consulting firm; or, 2) subcontracting.
It’s extremely rare for a consulting firm under $20 million to have dedicated business development staff and close to unheard of for a solo shop. Under $20 million, that model just doesn’t work well.
You’re right that as an office of one it’s difficult to market, sell and deliver work (and build expertise).
Your job, though, as a solo consultant, is to win business. It’s far easier to deliver business than to win it. That’s why you can hire someone to deliver business but you’re not able to find someone to sell it.
Have you ever used an outside salesperson successfully? If so, how? If not, why not? Please post your thoughts below.
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