According to Brazilian Association of Consultants - ABCO, the consulting market has experienced significant growth. According to surveys, there has been a growth of 33,6% in the public sector and 83,2% in the private sector. Many people have seen that it is worth investing in a consultancy. Mostly small businesses have sought advice for all areas of the business.
A business consulting It is also increasingly seen by those who wish to have more career autonomy or even earn extra income from experience already gained in some area.
However, not everything is flowers. Many new consultants, and even some seasoned consultants, find that one of the biggest challenges is closing projects. No matter the experience gained and sometimes not even indications, prospect customers For big projects it's a real challenge.
The business world is becoming ever more dynamic and the needs of companies are changing a lot. Therefore, a consultant must always be ready to sell a project. Some factors can make a difference and that's what we'll talk about now.
Knowledge and authority
A good consultant has full knowledge of the area in which he advises and not only that he has authority in the matter.
Usually the investment required for a consulting project is significant for companies looking for it, regardless of size. A prospect's buying journey is much more thorough, as it is a complex sale.
In this scenario, a first contact with security is extremely important. Great consultants feel free to talk about their areas of activity without nervousness.
Gaining confidence at this first moment by showing that you are fully capable of achieving the best possible results is a life or death condition for the start of trading.
You, the consultant, need to know who your target audience is. Without this analysis, customer prospecting becomes more complicated. The popular saying, “shoot everywhere” to the point of hitting a target, is not good for business.
Know exactly who your audience is.
- Are they small businesses?
- companies in a specific industry?
- indebted companies?
- companies in a process of expansion?
- Do company leaders see value in the project being negotiated?
Have total clarity on this. A consultant is not a business manager, and running a troubled project consumes far more time and resources than closing a new one.
Don't be afraid to deny projects if you realize you won't be able to add value.
Especially if you are a novice consultant, your methods need to be tested and approved. You will never be able to speak authoritatively of your projects without this validation.
If you already have success stories, it will be a differential. If you do not, before prospecting customers, we suggest that you prospect “guinea pigs” for your tests.
In this case, look for companies near your networking circle and propose tests. In other words, make low-cost “mini-projects” to better design your consulting services.
Anyway, when prospecting new customers, present them with customized solutions to their problems, not packaged services. At negotiation meetings, ask smart questions, have full knowledge of the company or client.
In presenting the proposed solution as a project, try to show in scope that you have thought of something special to its need.
Tips for Prospecting Consulting Customers
Even if you're not known yet, take advantage of the tips below to prospect your first clients or grow your portfolio.
See 7 simple and efficient ways to prospect more clients for your consulting:
Do a search for possible companies in your city, always taking into account your target audience. Contact these companies or prospects, submit professional material presenting your work.
Search for companies that are aligned with your vision and values. This can be done through groups, hashtags, social networks, etc.
Do your best to set up a meeting or a no-obligation call. The meeting will be an excellent opportunity to show your client that he needs your service.
Do not try to sell right away. Use this meeting to understand everything you can about the company in question. Then go back to the house and design a solution for this prospect.
Show that you are interested by asking questions throughout the process. Use a less invasive communication method like email, or some messaging app. No calling the prospect several times throughout the day.
If you think of sales process as a funnel, try to keep this phase, the mouth, always with new names. This mindset will ensure that more prospects come to the end of the funnel more often.
2. Search Referrals
Talk to your friends, acquaintances, relatives, clients about their ability to refer you to your consulting service.
But, attention! Do not do this informally. Preferably, do it in a professional setting or even schedule an hour with these people and explain your work. If you have a short presentation it will be even better. That way, she will be more committed to the promise to nominate him.
3. Content Marketing
Trade shows and conventions, referrals and research are great techniques for attracting clients, but online presence will also bring you many opportunities to present and advertise your consulting service.
From the knowledge of your audience, try to map content that adds value to them. Exercise your authority in these matters through your blog and social networks.
It's important for people to start seeing you as an exponent in the area you are consulting, so that opportunities come to you without the effort of proactive prospecting. The name of this technique is inbound marketing.
4. Build a good email list and keep it engaged
Not always does a consulting prospect have the need you need at the time you want to sell. It is therefore important to structure a long term relationship with your prospects.
The best way to do this is by creating an email newsletter. Keeping your mailing list up to date and organized will be an important tool in prospecting consulting clients.
When structuring content for emailing, remember, you are a consultant, not a retailer. Avoid very promotional, sales-focused emails. Try to send your contacts really relevant content in line with your value offer.
Use a portion of your emails to remind them that you can help them with their challenges whenever they need them.
You can grow your list through free digital baits. This bait can be an ebook, a spreadsheet or a video lesson, for example. There are several ways to work with digital baits and have a low cost.
5. Approach by phone, but carefully
The telephone approach is still one of the main forms of prospecting, but some details should be avoided, such as very formal speeches or scripted scripts. Prospecting customers like a robot can jeopardize all communication.
Remember that Brazilians in general have a certain telemarketing trauma. So try to be empathetic, polite, subtle and have a light speech to make the conversation as natural as possible. Be sure to match the tone to the customer's language.
Another important point to consider is that the phone is a bit invasive media because the receiver must stop what they are doing to answer it. At the beginning of the call, ask if he would have 5 minutes to talk. During the call try to take the chat to the prospect's favorite media with a timestamp (whatsapp, skype, etc).
6. Media Purchase
Besides being present on social networks, and having a website or blog, knowing how to use media buying tools like facebook ads or sponsored links is a way to reach your target audience.
With google ads, you can buy google search terms directly linked to your consulting. For example, “how to improve my financial management”. In social networking tools like facebook ads or linkedin ads, you can go after personas linked to your audience.
If you are unsure about testing and need expert help, seek a freelancer on such a platform as Upwork.
7. Expand your service possibilities
In the world we live today where people have no time for anything, they are always rushed, always stressed. Have you considered making your consultancy available online?
With the tools we have today, we can make video calls at no cost with great sound and image. It is possible to have a meeting or even a complete consultancy, all online.
The advantage of this type of service is that it will be possible to serve not only customers in your city, but people from anywhere in the world. This would undoubtedly give you a much greater chance of prospecting customers.
These were our tips on how prospect consulting clients even if you are not known yet. We hope you will put them into practice, start prospecting more clients today, and become increasingly successful as a consultant.