The Who, What, When, and How of Marketing your Services

You just opened your consulting firm and are ready to hit the phones and find your first client. Before you start dialing for dollars, answer the questions below to make sure you focus your efforts on those people whom you can best communicate with you, who you can help, and who can help you.

Who have you worked well with in the past (such as human resource executives or manufacturing managers)?
Do these people have the need and money to purchase the products and services you offer? If not, who does?
Can the people who you are accustomed to talking with recommend you to those people?

What concerns the people who buy your services or recommend you to others (such as reduce cycle-time, cut costs, increased market share, visibility in the marketplace, or enhance customer service)?
What problems are they facing (such as increased regulations, lower profit margins, eroding markets, foreign competition, globalization, or government regulation)?
What are their wishes, hopes, and dreams (such as create impact or secure their own job)?
What do they like (such as security, cutting-edge technology, breakthrough ideas, less involvement, or greater involvement)?
What do they dislike (such as risk or lack of control)?

When do your prospective clients purchase the services and products you provide? Do they buy it at the beginning of their fiscal year or at the beginning of each quarter?
When do they plan these purchases? When are they receptive to considering new outside resources and products? When do they make these decisions?

How do they buy what you are selling? How do they like to interact with outside resources? Do they first like to determine how to meet their needs on their own, and then consider outside resources, or do they involve outside resources in identifying their needs and determining solutions?
Do they have established relationships with other consultants?

How is that going? Really! All relationships have good and bad.
What do they need that they are currently not receiving from their established relationships (such as fresh ideas, cutting-edge technologies, or dynamic virtual presentations)?

Now that you have a good idea of the who, what, when and how of selling, you are ready to begin locating clients, which we will cover this in our next issue.