When the economy is booming you can grow a consulting business with word of mouth, luck and hustle.
In a bad economy you need a proven process to find your ideal customer and make them want to work with you. A proven process that takes the guesswork out of finding new clients. A proven process that you can follow to grow your business at the speed of your ambition. A proven process that takes you off the feast and famine income rollercoaster.
You see, when you know the specific steps that you need to take to win a new consulting client. Then all you have to do is follow the steps and like clockwork, you will win a new client.
How do I know this?
Because this is the simple system that I've used to get around gatekeepers and make CEOs want to meet me. I've then turned a meeting with the CEO into a new consulting client with a little known persuasion tool.
In this blog, I'd like to show you how to use my proven system to work with the biggest businesses in a market. So you can grow your consulting business at the speed of your ambition.
Here's the simple, repeatable system that I use to work with the biggest businesses in a market.
That's it. There are only 3 steps. I told you it was simple.
If you're thinking it's too simple to work in the real world... then read on and I'll show you the detail in each step.
What does your ideal consulting client look like?
This is a critical question. And if you can't answer it... you will never use this system. You see, this simple system is a repeatable process to win the biggest clients in a market. This is not a scattergun approach to finding clients. This is not working with anyone that will pay you. This process starts with finding the White Whale. The type of client that can transform your business overnight.
The most important thing an ideal consulting client can give you is repeat business.
My first business was a photography and graphic design studio. As a professional photographer, I knew that finding new work was hard. I knew that the process I used to win new business was so slow that it made my business unprofitable. I knew that if I found a handful of clients that gave me work every month, that I would build a secure and stable business.
What type of clients would give me repeat business?
How did I know that these clients would give me repeat business?
Because I already had a client in these areas that gave me repeat work. So all I needed to do was find more of them. Simple.
Finding PR firms is easy. Google will give you a list immediately. And you can hammer the phone with enough determination to speak to a decision-maker.
That's exactly what I did. There was just one problem...
Big PR firms already had a photographer that they were working with. And...
I didn't know what to say next!
So, I thanked the person for their time... and never called back.
I didn't say that I would work the first job for free to prove the quality of my work. I didn't say that I would love to work for them if their current photographer is booked.
And most importantly...
I didn't follow up with them a few months later to see if their situation had changed.
So, I could see the type of clients that would transform my business and give me a secure foundation. I knew how to contact them. And I didn't know how to win the business. After a few heart-breaking weeks of rejection. I gave up on the idea and returned to a strategy that I new was failing. I returned to focussing on weddings and portraits because there was less rejection. I returned to finding one client that would give me a single piece of work and then needing to find another client.
Why did I give up on a winning strategy? Because it was too hard.
What I really did was give up on my dreams. I gave up on my business and took the easier steps that would lead to failure.
Today, I'd take the client insight to change my offer. I'd craft an irresistible offer. Anything to get my foot in the door. Anything to work with a client that could give me work every month.
So think about the type of client that can give you repeat business. Get clear on the problems that they have and how you can solve them better than anyone else.
There's one more thing you need to realise about your ideal client...
It's not a bad thing if every business cannot afford your fee. That's part of life. And...
It's your job to make sure that you only meet with clients that can afford your fee.
There's nothing worse than having a meeting with a potential client. A meeting that's going really well until you mention your fee. Then the warmth and enthusiasm disappears and you are ushered out of the room. And the business owner stops returning your calls or responding to emails.
I've been there. And it sucks. It especially sucks after you've driven 3 hours to meet the client. Only to drive 3 hours home empty handed.
Today, I build a list of all the potential clients in a market. Then I filter that list for the clients that can afford my fee. Typically this will reduce a list of 50 potential clients down to 5.
How do I know if they can afford my fee if I've never spoken to them?
I go on companies house and look at their accounts. That shows me the size and health of their business. That tells me if I should try and meet their CEO.
There's one final thing I need to say about finding your ideal client.
My ideal client is a training company that runs free or low priced events and then upsells workshops and mentorship. They are my ideal client because I know how hard it is to fill free events. I know how inefficient the process is. And I know that I can sell workshops and mentorship for them by monetising their email database.
The best part is that I can find all this information online with a simple Google search.
So what problem do you want to solve for your ideal client?
What problem do they have that makes it an easy decision for them to say Yes to meeting with you?
If you want to meet with the CEO of a multi-million pound business. Then you need to solve a big problem for them. A problem and solution that you can articulate in less than 30 seconds. If you can do that... then getting a meeting is easy.
If you don't know the problem that you solve then you haven't brainstormed enough. And you will never convince the CEO to meet with you.
They are only going to give up their time if they know what's in it for them. If what's in it for them is a solution to a huge problem. Then they will make space for you in their calendar. If you are a nice guy with a me-to service (like I was in my photography business) then you will get a lot of rejection.
Let's face it. A multi-million pound company is going to have a marketing team. So why would they speak with me?
Because I can solve a problem for them. A problem that they cannot solve themselves.
You need to find that problem. And find the client that you can help.
Once you know the type of client that you can help. It's a simple process to find more of those clients.
Once you've found your ideal client. It's time to contact them.
Cold calling sucks!
It sucks for you. It sucks for the person you are calling. So don't do it!
Save yourself the rejection. Save yourself the frustration.
What you should do instead is contact the client in a way that makes them excited to meet you.
I do this with a letter and a coffee cup.
Why a coffee cup? Because I want to buy them a coffee to discuss the ideas in the letter.
What's in the letter?
In other words, I tell them to expect my call. And... they know that I'm only calling to set up a meeting. Not to steal an hour from their day. This makes it much easier for them to accept my call because they know it is going to be short.
For this strategy to work you MUST send the letter to a named individual. If you address it to the Business Owner or the CEO it will go straight to the bin.
I'm sending a named individual a parcel by courier.
Because it will pique their curiosity so they will open it. I know that this will win me 10 seconds of their focused attention. Enough time for them to read the headline of my letter. All the headline has to do is make them want to read the first paragraph. That pulls them into the letter and makes them excited to meet me.
When I call the business (on the main number that I've found on their website) a gatekeeper answers the phone. I get around them by saying that I sent the CEO a letter and a coffee cup and I'd like to follow up with them.
That's enough of a reason for them to put me through to the CEO.
Because of the unusual way that I've contacted the CEO, I've made myself memorable. Does he want to speak to the guy that sent him a letter and coffee cup? Normally the answer is Yes because it's put a smile on their face.
So a simple letter gets my foot in the door with CEOs of multi-million pound companies.
I know that if I want to grow my business. All I need to do is send out more letters.
This puts my business growth in my hands.
I can do the work and grow my business. Or I can make excuses.
Once I've spoken to the CEO I need to set up a meeting. This brings us to the final step in this process...
The one thing the CEO wants to know when he meets you is that you can deliver on your promises.
The last thing the CEO wants to listen to is you bragging about your achievements.
So you walk straight into a dilemma.
How do you prove that you can deliver your promises without bragging?
You tell stories!
The first story that you must tell is how you got to where you are today. Why you left your cushy corporate job. How you created your system. And what results you have achieved for your clients. This is what I call your Epic Story.
When you tell your story you prove that you can deliver your promises without bragging. You also show that it has taken you many years to gain the skills that you have today.
Clients want to buy 10,000 hours of dedicated practice. So, if you've combined study with experience to become an expert. Then tell the CEO about it. Share the highs and lows of your journey and you will tell a thrilling tale that earns trust.
Now. You might be thinking...
Storytelling is a skill like any other. So you can learn it.
There's a proven way to tell a thrilling tale. It's called The Hero's Journey. This is the storytelling system behind the biggest movie blockbusters in history. Movies like Star Wars, Rocky and Avatar.
There are 10 steps in the Hero's Journey. I'm not going to give you all the steps because I don't want you to tie your story in knots.
I've simplified the Hero's Journey to make it easier to tell an inspirational personal story. Here are the 4 steps that you need to take...
Let's look at each of these in turn.
Stories explain how and why change happens. By showing what your life used to look like you are setting up your story.
This lets the CEO see a part of you that most people will never see. By sharing something from your past. You build trust. As you will see you are showing that you are an ordinary guy that learned and better way and refused to give up. That's the type of person that I want to work with. But I will only think that if I can see it. If someone says that, it sounds like bragging. That's why you've got to show it in your story.
The background part can be the shortest part of your Epic Story. Something as simple as,
"For 10 years I led corporate marketing teams in London. I loved my job and hated the 4-hour commute each day."
Those 2 sentences set the scene for what is to come. And they move to story forward by stating the reason why I didn't like my job.
This helps to set up the second step in the storytelling journey...
Most people think about starting their own business and sit on that idea for many years. They do nothing with the idea until something happens. Something outside of their control forces them to make a change.
So, what forced you to make a change?
Were you made redundant?
Did you need to make more money? I started my consulting business because I couldn't afford to pay for my daughter's nursery fees. That was the trigger that forced me to make a change.
Was it reaching a significant birthday?
Or did you start a business because you were following your passion?
Whatever the reason you must describe the moment of change. The better you can describe that moment and the full spectrum of emotions that you went through. The more you will pull your audience into the story. And the more trust you will earn.
I remember the excitement and terror when I quit my job. I had a job that I enjoyed and paid well. Consulting had been a side hustle that paid for my daughter's nursery and some luxuries on the side. Now it was going to be my only income. Now I was betting the farm on myself. It was a great feeling. An exciting time. And not without its worries.
So how did you feel when you took the plunge? What made you bet on yourself?
So, you wanted to start your own business. Or you wanted to find a solution to a problem. You've started an exciting journey. What happens next...
Was it plain sailing...
Or did storms test your commitment and self-belief?
The more you can talk about the challenges you faced to create your system. The more you build the need for your help.
It took me 7-years to discover a system to sell products and services online that makes a giant leap in sales. 7-years through the school of hard knocks, traditional education and street smarts education. 7-years forcing my wife to sacrifice holidays and restaurant dinners so I could pay for my studies.
And a journey that made me challenge my beliefs and face my deepest fears. You see, I got 10% in an English exam and for the rest of my school days, I believed I couldn't write well.
In my journey to discover how to turn strangers into customers on demand without a sales team. I learned that success starts and fails with copywriting. So...
I had a simple choice. Face my fears and learn how to tell stories and write persuasive copy. Or quit.
Those were some of the storms that tested my commitment and self-belief.
What about you?
What challenges did you run into on your journey to discover your system?
Remember, by sharing the challenges you struggled through, you are building the need for your services. Because the alternative is a 7-year journey.
Where does your story end?
It doesn't end with your death. And it doesn't end with your retirement. And your story is changing and evolving every day.
Your Epic Story ends with the moment you knew you had created an amazing system.
This could be the first time you achieved an amazing result. Or it could be the first time you could repeat an amazing result because you packaged your experience into a system.
For your meeting with the CEO, your Epic story needs to end with a result that will make him say "I want that."
Where does my Epic Story end?
It ends the first time I tried to sell a £2,000 workshop online. That campaign made £672,989 in 9 days.
That's not the last campaign that I've run using my simple system. But it was the first time I realised that this system could sell products and services at any price in any market. That's why my Epic Story ends there.
So where does your story end?
How did you feel when you reached the end of the rainbow?
For me, it validated 7-years of sacrifices. It proved that never giving up, despite the setbacks, was the right thing to do.
When you tell your Epic Story, you will answer all the questions that the CEO has without bragging. Your story explains what you can do for him. Your story proves that amazing results are achievable. Your story explains how you created your system. Your story also reveals your values. It proves that you have the grit and determination to work through challenges.
Your Epic Story leads seamlessly into...
When the CEO says Yes, then you can focus on his business, his problems, and how quickly you can start.
You've been talking a lot about you. Now it's time to talk about their business and how you can help them.
You'll already know how you can help them from researching the client. Now you can talk through your ideas with the CEO.
You've now seen the proven system that I've used to build a 6-figure consulting business. If I want more clients then all I need to do is send more letters.
What's the first step that you need to take?
For me the hardest part is finding a list of potential clients. That's the 'boring' work that I don't enjoy. And it's the most important because this is where success starts.
It only starts there if you know what your ideal consulting client looks like... and how you can help him.
Get clear on the type of client that needs your help the most. What problem do they have? And why can you solve it better than anyone else?
Once you can answer those questions. Then you can start finding your ideal clients. Build a list of 50 potential clients and you are well on your way to building the consulting business of your dreams.
Would you like me to do this for you?
This entire process from start to finish. This will include building a list of potential clients. Filtering them down to those that can afford your fee. Writing your Irresistible Offer letters and choosing the best grabber for your letter. I know the coffee cup works great and there might be something better for your business.
Then I'll call the clients and set up a meeting for you. Plus, I'll help you tell your Epic Story so you'll nail your meeting with the CEO.
If you'd like me to do all this for you then please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
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If this can help someone you now then please share it with them.
Until next time...
P.S. I built a 6-figure copywriting and business consultancy virtually overnight by updating my LinkedIn profile. After working through those opportunities my income dropped to “should I get a job” levels because I didn’t have a repeatable process to win consulting clients.
Then I dusted off a simple process that I used to get my first consulting clients. Before I had a website or anything on the web telling people that I was a copywriter and business consultant. You see, at the time I had a full-time job and I didn’t want to advertise that I did consulting because I thought it would create problems at work.
With no website, no social media presence, and no network of connections I contacted the CEO of a multi-million company in a way that made him excited to meet me. At our first meeting, he hired me on the spot.
Once I started to use this proven process to make CEO excited to meet me. I started working with the biggest businesses in different industries and quickly built back a 6-figure business.
Would you like to learn how to use my simple process to win consulting clients on demand?
There’s a simple step by step process that I’ve outline in my book Consulting Clients On Demand.
To download your free copy now click the link below.
I'm a copywriter and business growth consultant, trainer and mentor that turns expertise into cash. I achieve that by telling true stories that inspire people to change their life. That's what makes people feel good about buying.
For the last 5 years, I've helped business owners to sell products and services in many industries. The products and services have ranged in price from £5 to £12,000.
My most successful campaign made £672,989 in 9 days.
I took that result and transformed it into a simple repeatable system. A system that I use as a consultant to create a giant leap in sales.
A system that I teach to ambitious entrepreneurs that want to make money on demand without a sales team.