Consultant Marketing Product Gravitation

Consistency

The key element in building a brand across multiple platforms is consistency.

You cannot change the words and pictures willy-nilly. It is particularly important to say things the same way as often as possible because we operate in a digital world and the search engines use words to find things. Your Linked in Profile and your website must deliver the same message .They can thanks to Pro Brandr.

Digital and Analog

Both play a role in building your brand. Words are initially most important because they are how people and organizations are differentiated both by digital search and when a referral source needs to convey your capabilities.

Graphics are the main analog elements. Photos, illustrations, art and logotypes all can play a part in making you memorable. Visual elements of your brand can have enormous impact.

But words and pictures have to play together in each presentation and across mediums to be effective.

One of the greatest industrial designers ever understood this. His approach still makes sense today:

“People gravitate to products that are bold, but instantly comprehensible. Loewy called his grand theory “Most Advanced Yet Acceptable”—maya. He said to sell something surprising, make it familiar; and to sell something familiar, make it surprising.”

Raymond Loewy, Industrial Designer

Bold but instantly Comprehensible

Loewy practiced from the 1930s to the 1970s and some of his designs live on and are familiar  today:

Air Force One livery
Coca-Cola bottle and fountain dispenser
Greyhound Scenicruiser bus and logo
JFK postage stamp
Logos for Exxon, Shell, International Harvester, Nabisco, Quaker, and the U.S. Postal Service

His iconic designs for aircraft interiors, railroad locomotives and automobiles are why we enjoy marvelous changes in vehicles today.

Surprising but familiar
The element of surprise gets people’s attention. The familiar allows understanding. This is not a new concept. When the automobile was first introduced it was called the “horseless carriage.” Positioning for a specific market versus competition is best exemplified by “The Uncola” for Seven-Up. Or for the adults in the house, Miller High Life as  “The Champagne of Bottled Beers.”

Familiar but surprising

We live in a world that is constantly changing. There are examples of this approach in every product category. For example, an automobile called a hybrid which runs on both gasoline and electricity. Once that truly differentiated the vehicle but now you have a choice of brands. Or how about foods that have Zero Calories. Sugarless desserts.

We need to quickly and surely put things into the matrix between our ears in such a way that we can first understand the item and then quickly recall it.

Impact at speed

Remember that when folks first come upon any new page on the internet that you have just 3 seconds to get your brand across. You have at most 15 seconds to connect with words a potential referral source can use to tell someone about you. Your graphics must connect with that part of the prospects brain that responds to emotion and has no words.

Your web site can serve up a great deal of the information you put into your Linked In profile but in greater depth. Make sure your visuals and words build your credibility to cash. Need help? Check out ProBrandr.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com
Product: https://www.ProBrandr.com

Consultant Marketing Brand Takes Time

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Brand

Have you got one?

Do you want one?

What does it take to get one?

Consultants take heed

You are going to have a brand whether you want one or not.

Some consultants say that you’re only as good as your last success.

That’s true as far as it goes.

Some believe your brand is about hiring a graphic designer to make you look good.

Not a bad idea but only as good as your brief to her/him.

Others hire branding consultants to find a way to tell their story.

Again, considerably useful but not the complete narrative.

Brand, is not what you want it to be. You can present your case. You can use graphics that set you apart. You can declaim your differences in words that flow gently or stridently. You can muster staff and close ranks. You can posture and pose.

But in the end your brand will be the combined perceptions of all who have been exposed to you.

There are three major phases to your branding:

  1. Brand Identity

Your vision for your practice leads you to select a name. With that in hand you seek out a graphic designer to find typography and art that reflects what you want people to think of you.

You are striving to be memorable. Within 15 seconds of receiving your card or landing on the home page of your website the initial perception of you will be formed as will the language used to refer to you in subsequent conversations with other business people.

With a little luck you can become memorable Just don’t assume it will happen automatically or that the initial perception won’t change.

2. Back Story

You find that you need to build a web site and materials for sales and marketing of your services not to mention report formats and word heavy documentation of what you do. Case histories and client quotes can help tell your story.

Within the curve of your growth as a consultant you will need to establish what makes you and your organization unique. That is done by developing a consistent approach to all the elements that lead to trust. Extreme variation will make prospects question your honesty. Lack of imagination will push them to look for alternatives. Being true to your word will move you toward unforgettable but the major factor in that assessment will come from outcomes desired by clients.

3. Battle Hardened

You enjoy multiple engagements and find that you really can help businesses with the concerns and problems they are having.

Suddenly, you are viewed as indispensable. Clients turn to you for advice on every part of their business. Honesty about the extent of your capability and a willingness to find resources that can solve the problem put a shine on your brand.

And so it goes .

For a few of you that find a way to change the way your clients think your brand will go from Credibility to Cash to Legendary.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Game Change

Change is the heart of consulting.

Without change we would be out of a job. Change is perceived by clients as a problem and they go looking for someone to solve it with expertise or experience they don’t have. We wind up working with them for a single engagement or, over time, for either multiple, linked engagements or just providing services in a single expertise on an ongoing basis.

Most of my interactions with clients are in the latter category. I tend to stay with clients for a while. I’ve worked with a current client now for over 25 years, celebrated a ten-year anniversary with one and I’m coming up on 3 years with another.

I still do singular encounters when I believe I can be of real assistance within the client’s time frame. I’ve come to the conclusion that Contact Relationship Management is no longer an arena I want to work in. Why? Management doesn’t understand it and more importantly does not understand that tasking sales-people with upkeep is a losing proposition.

For the future

I’m shifting my emphasis so that I will offer these services:

  • Marketing Consulting for consultants and coaches (Solopreneurs, Partnerships and Ensembles short and long term)
  • Strategic Marketing Counsel for entrepreneurs and start-ups
  • Speaking on topics that make individuals and organizations more memorable and more profitable. (Keynotes, Breakouts and Trainings for associations and businesses)
  • NEW Products that offer quick and easy branding, positioning and sales development. Example: Consultant Brandr for Linked In which allows you to inject your brand into your Linked In Profile in just one evening.
  • NEW The Credibillity to Cash Junto (named for the group Ben Franklin formed– a continuing conversation about establishing and maintaining your six-figure practice—a mastermind group limited to just 8 consultants that want to take their business up a notch.

Proven Publishing

That means I will continue publishing information on what works and what doesn’t in Marketing in general and consulting in particular.

Blogs I intend to publish blogs both in the USA and internationally on a regular basis every two weeks at a minimum. The topic will continue to be Consultant Marketing and will cover subjects from Practice Management  to promos, PR and Premiums. The emphasis will continue to be branding across all the media available and how to move from suspect to prospect to client.

The Newslog, newly named Credibility to Cash will continue on a weekly basis. The new version will have the same information in an article, a video and an audio as requested by the current recipients. The first quarter for 2022 is in production now

The annual Consultant Marketing Survey is now in the field. This year’s results report will be available by New Year’s day! Sorry, no results tabulated as yet so I can’t provide a single finding! And yes, we will do it again next year.

Speak your Way to Business Riches A step-by-step guide to Get Booked, Get Heard and Build Your Business is in first draft. Look for it as a print on demand book from Amazon about the end of the first quarter. (Junto members and Newslog subscribers may receive webinar invitations as well as chapters in PDFs prior to publication)

 In all we do in the coming year, the emphasis will be on showing you how to move from Credibility to Cash.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two Sign up for the unique audio/video/article Newslog here.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Solo DoubleTrouble

You made the break.

You decided to put your consulting career on the front burner. You decided that it is time to make that side hustle your full-time job.

Two considerations.

You need to think about two things that will make or break you. I’ll bet neither have managed to tap you on the shoulder so far. If you’re like most, you are too excited by the potential in front of you to consider these factors. Those important items that are eluding you are:

  • Team
  • Technology

Before you marshal your arguments, listen to my tale of woe.

Team

The crew you work with was probably assigned to you. Or, rather, you were assigned to it. As your career progressed you were moved from team to team. You may have decided to change companies but once again you were assigned to a team. With experience you were moved more and more into leadership but seldom if ever did you select the people on your team. At best you took on the responsibility of selecting individuals from within the organization to put into teams.

Now you are engaged in building a company. Any business coach or attorney will tell you that you need to have a business entity. No matter what form of business you decide on and no matter what title you assume, you, for the first time possibly, will be the one calling the shots. You will Have to think about teams differently.

Solos don’t have teams

That was my contention until a client pointed out that I had a group of suppliers that I worked with all the time. We were comfortable handling projects together, each of us doing what was needed, each connecting seamlessly to get things done, each a solid member of the unit that wasn’t formal but still functioned by any measure as a team.

Even then I still held that the best thinking came from individuals not teams. I cited all the geniuses of the arts and some of the discoveries in the sciences as “obvious examples”.

 Not long after that I was trying to convince the man who has now been a client for a decade that moving from doing turnarounds as a CEO or COO to Leadership and Management Consulting was significantly different and that he did not have a team in place to handle the shift.

Teams can trump persuasion.

I pointed out that That when you have C-suit initials as your title, employees have to follow your orders. They may resist, citing long standing team approaches, but long  term they must acquiesce. As a consultant you don’t have that power. You have to convince, persuade, cajole and sway them in any way you can to be effective. And the team you have in place whether they work for you full time or on a 1099 can and will impact your efficiency.

Nobody can do it all alone.

 At least not the ones I’ve come across. That was a hard lesson. It took me over 20 years to figure it out. And I was still left with a hole in my knowledge of how to select, build and lead teams starting from scratch. Like a lot of people I searched for answers. I had worried my way through just about every assessment tool you can imagine starting as a beta tester on an early one back when I worked in Denver.

Technology wasn’t the answer.

There were a couple problems with the assessments:

  1. The person you were evaluating had to take the assessment for you to get any kind of real fix on them.
  2. The training requires that you use the labels assigned by the assessment on a daily continuing basis to use it to your greatest advantage.

I found very quickly that I had to become some sort of new millennium astrologer to begin to get any use out of all the time I’d put in studying the assessments. Unfortunately my Mars in retrograde got wrapped around the axle of the conflicting moons and I found myself fizzling out dodging detritus circling Saturn even if I had the code for a people connection.

Maybe their Why is the answer.

I learned of a new piece of Software the other day. It is called the WHYos and will introduce on November 15. I went to the WhyTechnology website to learn more. I tried the free trial and in a matter of minutes was rewarded with the assessment’s view of my Why.

“Why” is associated with Simon Sinek.

He wrote a book called Start with Why back in 2009. He may be better known for a TED talk which can be seen here. He made the world cognizant of what made some individuals and organizations stand out from others. Because of Simon Sinek, a dentist in Texas began searching for software that would allow him to optimize his why.

Dr. Gary Sanchez’s WHY is to find a better way and share it.  HOW he does that is by making things clear and easy to understand.  WHAT he brings is simple solutions to help people move forward. He and his Team have worked with hundreds of thousands of individuals, as well as thousands of companies from small yoga studios to Fortune 500 Companies helping them get clear, stand out and play bigger. 

I didn’t know I was looking for that piece of software.

But I was.

I didn’t realize what a difference it could make.

Now I do. I tested it.

I was never quite sure what drew me to trying to find a better way in everything I do.

Now I understand.

Why.os is changing my life.

It will change my product launching December 15 called Linked In Brandr which guides you step-by-step to inject brand into your Linked In profile in just one evening. It will make it possible to base your brand on your why. The product was good before. Now it is great.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two. Sign up for the unique audio/video/article Newslog here.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Brand Sound

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Dave and I had lunch Thursday.

It was good to hear how the little golf product company he founded was doing. He has come a long way from when we met in his kitchen to put together the promotional material for the annual Golf Pro Trade show for the USA.

He had already committed to that show when we started working together. It was only one of the areas he needed advice in. Like most entrepreneurs, particularly inventors, he had no idea of what it takes to start a business from the ground up.

Marketing Consultant/Start up Consultant

I came onboard because he wanted a marketing consultant. Very quickly I turned into a start-up consultant. He had worked through and solved his production problems in way that turned out to be scalable. He was handling fulfillment personally pulling, assembling, packaging and shipping product on an as needed basis.

Sales was how he tested whether the product was something that would work in Golf Pro Shops. On-line marketing was being tested, but not in an organized way.

I squired him through getting a distributor sales organization, acquisition feelers from several companies and finally finding a pro to handle his on-line marketing.

These days he tells me he is negotiating a new distributor deal that includes fulfillment and has come to the conclusion that being able to dial advertising on Facebook up and down to manage sales is what he really wants.

Video is what sells is what he believes.

He asked me to respond to some of his ideas generated by comments on his ads and social media. His ideas (did I say he is an inventor?) tend to take comments about alternatives to the product seriously. None of the alternatives were shown side-by-side with his product in his ideas. Then he kept wanting to add things to the product like speaking digital readouts etc.

What does the product get the buyer?

I stopped him in the middle of how he could measure the degree of deflection between a direct line to the hole and how an individual putted the ball. My response was “So what?” Knowing the degree of deflection doesn’t mean diddly if I don’t know how to correct it. If I read the directions on the current product I’ll be able to see exactly how off I am without having any fancy digital sensors. I’ll be able to correct my putting and practice the perfect stroke. I’ll be able to take strokes off my game which is what I want.

The sound is the promise.

Somehow we found ourselves talking about why golfers would buy his product. It all comes down to sinking putts of any length. We were envisioning a dark screen like a golf course green in the twilight. He talked about a point of view video on the putter and ball as it is stroked, following the ball and then seeing it fall in the hole. I told him that vision was nice but it was no good without the sound effects. The putter clicks when it hits the ball. The distinct sound of a golf ball falling into the cup is unmistakable to a golfer.

The 3 second sale

I pointed out that when someone lands on your web page or clicks on your ad you’ve got no more than 3 seconds to get their attention, become memorable and build desire for your offer. Three seconds.  

The speed of sound

You can recognize a sound in one half of one second (0.05 seconds). More importantly, for branding purposes, auditory reaction time is four times faster than visual reaction time. Hearing is the fastest of our five senses.

Sound is incredibly powerful because of the speed at which you can capture your audience’s attention and ‘cement’ your brand in their mind.” — Gary Vaynerchuk.

I told Dave that the sound of the golf ball falling in the hole should be his singular audio brand component. Sound can sell his product. That sound is why a golfer will buy. That sound is the payoff for every golfer.

Imagine if you will

Video: Point of view (POV) Camera looking down on putter lined up on ball

Putter strokes ball.

Sound: Click of ball being putted (SFX)

Video:  Fade through black to product at same angle as putt.

SFX:    Ball dropping in hole

Video:  POV product demo once with deflection once corrected

            Cut to product logo

SFX     Ball dropping in hole

Video: Super order link

            Product logo

SFX     Ball dropping in hole

All that can be done in less than 15 seconds.

And so it goes

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com.

Copyright 2021 Z-axis Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved

Consultant Marketing A More Powerful Pitch

Featured

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It amazes me every time. Coach oriented selling eliminates proposals.

You figure that a consultant would know about and use a Value-Based Presentation.

Only a handful do, the ones that have been around for a while and those bold enough to study some of the masters of selling services. It’s like the refrain from a song in the musical South Pacific, “You have to be carefully taught.” Fewer still are trained in coach-oriented selling.

Most consultants aren’t trained in sales. They are babes in the woods when it comes to the psychology of the deal. Better pitches are built with better knowledge of what a lot of folks today call : “the customer journey.”

Start with a peek at the customer map.

They had a problem or concern about their business. They spoke with friends and colleagues about how to solve it. They queried trusted advisors for names of experts that might help them. With a handful of names they turned to Linked In to review profiles of the candidates to be considered further. They narrowed the search to no more than three. At that point they probably looked at your website to get more of an idea of how you work and to get a glimpse of the expertise you bring to the situation.

Make it easy to meet.

They are still evaluating when they call you to arrange a meeting. They want to get to know you. You are one of at most three candidates. Setting an appointment for what is to them a major concern is probably best made in person. Make sure they can contact you direct, not through an appointment setting app. But if you do use such an app, give them the possibility of stating why they want to talk. What may seem to be dull normal for you is the biggest thing in their world to them. So when that in noted I should be a trigger for you to call them.

The first meeting is all about discovery.

It is a conversation not a commercial. You need to acknowledge their expertise. They will always be more expert in their business than you. Always. Partner with them in a thought-provoking process that allows them to act in away that draws on their experience and your support ot find a way to act. Let them set the agenda. Your mission whether you accept it or not is to do four things:

  1. Engage
  2. Focus
  3. Evoke
  4. Plan

Engage

Establish a mutually trusting relationship based on genuine interest in their situation.

Listen. Focus on their goals, their expectations and why those things are important to them.

Questions you might use:

  • What are your successes?
  • Where are you challenged?
  • What od you know about our work?
  • How do you think we can help?

Focus

Your goal is to collaborate with the prospect, describe the desired outcomes and determine a way forward.

Questions that will allow you to reach common ground:

  • What is most important to you and your organization?
  • What outcome do you expect from our working together?
  • How do you see us working together?
  • What would this mean for the organization?
  • What will it cost if you do nothing?

Strive to define the problem concisely in concrete terms. It is best to zero in on a key single priority.

Evoke

Start by searching for strategies that could solve the problem at hand. Brainstorm some possibilities. Before you suggest an approach ask permission to give them advice.

Helpful queries:

  • What ideas have occurred to you to address this situation?
  • Are there corporate resources you can bring to bear?
  • Have you seen or heard of something that worked in the past that we could put to work here?
  • If forced to come up with one idea, what would it be?
  • What would you do if failure wasn’t an option?

Plan

What you are looking to do now is ascertain if the prospect is ready to move forward and become client. You are not closing. You are merely testing the waters.

Try asking:

  • What are you willing to commit to now?
  • Is there a first step that would be agreeable to you?
  • When can you assemble your team?
  • What’s your timeframe?
  • What are you willing to invest?

At this point, a prospect may ask you to begin an engagement or demur. If they are not asking you to get to work circle back. Engage them. Focus on their view of the problem. Help them imagine a positive resolution and see once more if they are ready to plan.

Some of the most successful consultants use this approach to begin ongoing relationships with clients. Although the information gathered can be used for a Value-based Proposal often the client will forgo that prerequisite just ot get to work now.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Digital World Speaking

Featured

I spoke live on Wednesday.

It was only the third time this year. My expectation from the run-up back and forth with various staff members was that this would be a well-managed professional event.

It was. The gal at registration recognized me. She was delightful. The tech in the room was completely efficient. His first question was, “Any change in the slide deck?” I said, “No.” He then efficiently got me into a lavaliere microphone, did a sound check handed me a slide clicker and declared me, “Good to go.”

That’s when things went off the rails.

I sat in on a couple sessions before mine. One was being done by an acquaintance. His topic was: How Brands Can Use NFTs To Engage Consumers And Generate Revenue. (an NFT is a Non-Fungible Token, a unique digital asset that utilizes Blockchain Technology)

Like the preceding session the introducer basically read the session topic, the presenters name and their company name from the printed agenda card. That was it.

You have to introduce yourself.

Each of the speakers I watched had to use the first 2 minutes of their 30 minutes on stage to introduce themselves. I was bemused by the way they crammed all sorts of data on a slide: Name, Title, Company Logo, Web address, E-mail, Social media they were involved with, where they were published and seemingly any kind of social proof they felt gave them existence.

The first line of “Sympathy for the Devil,” Rolling Stones (1968) kept running through my mind:

“Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste. I’ve been around for a long, long year, stole many a man’s soul and faith.”

Whether you are a Stones fan or not you have to admit these lines are memorable.

An introduction sets the stage.

For some reason events primarily directed to digital professionals eliminate solid introductions and in doing so lose benefits to the speaker and the attendee.

A good introduction sets a positive tone, generates enthusiasm and interest. More importantly, sone properly it can make a clear case for why listening to the speaker is more beneficial than grabbing a cup of coffee. A memorable introduction engages the audience and convinces the audience to listen to the speaker.

A good introduction will accomplish three other objectives:

  1. Focus the audience attention on the speaker transitioning them from their current actions or thoughts.
  2. Enhance the credibility of the speaker personally or by citing social proofs.
  3. Make a promise about the presentation that creates intrigue and a need to “hear it from the horse’s mouth.”

A self-introduction is never as powerful.

Yes, you can introduce yourself powerfully in networking situations. That is what 30-Second Marketing is all about. Or you might like this video.

The fact is, we trust others more than we trust an individual presenter to perform an introduction. Second party information is given more credibility. The human mind does not like hearing someone “Toot their own horn.” And so introducers are used at most speaking events. And in order to accomplish the objectives of a good introduction, most professionals write their own and, in some cases, rehearse the introducer persuading them to read it as written.

Here’s the self-introduction I resorted to:

I’m Jerry Fletcher.

I’m a Master of Consultant Marketing.

You know how people keep telling you that you have to be memorable but nobody tells you how to do it?

Well, what I do is work with individuals and organizations to develop unique trust-based strategies to build businesses, brands and lives of joy.

I’ve been doing it since1990 and stopped counting successful new product introductions at 207 and individual branding for consultants at 147 at last count.

Today I’m going to tell you how to go from Credibility to Cash in the New Normal.

The audience stayed for the entire session laughed at some stories and gave me a hand at the end. I’d like to think this digitally oriented, just give me the bullet points audience learned that no matter how they would like it not to be true, the analog human mind controls all acceptance, belief, trust and purchasing.

Like to see it?

I’ll be doing that speech virtually for IMC NorCal on October 5. Sign up here if you would like to see it.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences to you take your business up a notch…or two.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Diving In

Are you thinking of bailing out of a full-time job to start a consulting business?

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Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane isn’t a good thing to do on a whim. On the other hand with a little pre-planning it can prove to be exhilarating. I’ve known folks that parachute from airplanes that were airborne in the Military and those that just wanted to check off a thrill on their bucket list.

Both took a lot of precautions. But the bucket listers all enjoyed it more.

What do you need to consider when you are taking that side hustle to full time? How do you get from unknown to memorable. More importantly what does it take to become Credible?

How do you go from Credibility to Cash?  

  • Stay real, honest and authentic
  • Scrupulously avoid individuals and organizations that are not trustworthy.
  • Pay it forward. Practice relational networking not transactional.
  • Never stop adding to your expertise.
  • Tell it like it is (even when your view is different from the “common view”).

People hire consultants, not companies.

Too often this is overlooked. The new consultant is so intent on becoming a branded entity that they overlook this simple fact. Really big companies may hire consultants by their company name but mid-level and below organizations are looking for experts and look for them by name. If you want to have a fancy name and elegant logo that is fine but sooner or later you will find that if prospects remember your company name it will be associated with your name.

In other words, if you are an independent professional of any kind such as a consultant or coach, you might as well append your name to your company name because your clients and prospects are going to do so whether you like it or not. Your name adds credibility and that credibility leads to cash

Trust is the single most important business development attribute.

Having enough in the grouch bag (reserve funds) can help you with this. If you are not extremely concerned with providing for you and yours it is easier to stay on the straight and narrow. You find that you have the ability to say, ”No” to those deals that just don’t smell right. You will be able to be genuine and be plainspoken. Yes, your expertise is important. The connections you generate via networking can lead to being considered for engagements. The folks you add to your CRM (your list) become, in a way, investments. You invest your time and capabilities in them and they return the favor. Over time you will find that who you know is not as important as who trusts you. Your credibility, the trust you have generated leads to cash.

People are like Pearls.

Years ago I wrote a blog that likened the friends, associates and colleagues each of us has to pearls strung together into a magnificent necklace. If you think of your contacts that way you will want to show them off. That is what relational networking is all about. Transactional Networkers tend to look for tit for tat exchanges. They are much more about “What have you done for me lately?”

Relational networkers pay it forward. They refer the experts they know to fill a client or prospect’s needs. They constantly seek out opportunities for those they believe in. It pays off. Their credibility as a referral source leads to more assignments and better cash flow.

Know it all or at least more than others.

It is called lifelong learning in some circles. Continuous learning fuels creativity and innovation, helping the learners use their knowledge and skills in meaningful ways. The more you know about your area of expertise the easier it will be for you to diagnose situations and prescribe courses of action that will get to a positive resolution.

But don’t limit yourself to only your specialty. Explore subjects that are just to the side of it. Look into things that might have no connection at all. Because of the way our brains are wired those seemingly unrelated areas of interest generate connections that lead to creative connections. Challenging the little grey cells can make you more believable and inspire prospects to cash in on your unique abilities.

Controversial gets you seen. Results get you paid.

People respond to what is different. They actively seek out better solutions that are positioned and identified in ways that make them stand out from the crowd. Being controversial in your writings, speeches and other public appearances will get you noticed. A portion of the people that can hire you will listen in depth. Others will not. Both will have become aware of you in a way that is memorable.

Get the outcome stipulated in an engagement and you will earn the testimony of a satisfied client. Do a joint presentation with her or him at an industry gathering and you will generate another circle of admirers. Like dropping a rock in the water you will cause a small wave to press outward leaving a recognition of your knowledge. Each time your insight is touched your credibility increases. The more prospects that hear about your approach, find it ingenious yet plainspoken, the more will engage you.

And so it goes

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Learn more about Credibility to Cash. Subscribe to Jerry’s Newslog.

Consultant Marketing Elite Rage

When you’re that good you expect to be treated with deference.

You get used to people taking your word as the expert.

You won’t admit it but it feels good to have that ego polishing occur.

That expectation may be misinformed.

I work with elite consultants who, if they don’t have a strong sense of humility, can find themselves angry at potential clients who don’t display sufficient acceptance of the thought leader’s elevated position as he or she observes it in the actions of satisfied clients.

Men display this trait more than women.

It comes up when I’m asked to look at their communications efforts because:

  • “The phone isn’t ringing”
  • “I have concrete results but nobody believes them.”
  • “I’m as good as any Olympic coach but there are no medals for the work we do.”

Elites walk a fine line.

They get used to being the hero and coming up with ways to affect changes in organizations and individuals, changes that literally makeover lives they are touching. They are so engaged In that place of esteem, extreme trust and nearly religious fervor that they forget that strangers don’t see them that way.

Rage is a way to keep an ego from shattering. And it is a way to cope if the rage is directed at getting the disappointment off one’s chest with a coach that understands what is going on. If it is used as a way to begin building humility, all the better.

It is all about them I say.

It is not about you dear elite. It is about the people and companies you can impact with your processes and trainings and ways to change the way your clients think. It is all about them. Marketing is all about finding more of the kinds of folks that are similar to the clients you have worked with. It is all about finding a way to begin a relationship with real potential.

Usually I pull an old ad from my files. Md Graw Hill placed it many times starting in, I believe, 1958. The copy is as powerful and appropriate today as it was then:

”I don’t know who you are.

I don’t know your company.

I don’t Know your company’s product.

I don’t know what your company stands for.

I don’t know your company’s customers.

I don’t know your company’s record.

I don’t know your company’s reputation.

Now, what was it you wanted to sell me?”

They are strangers.

Why expect them to treat you like those you have an ongoing relationship with?

Why would you believe they are already sold on you?

How can you expect then to touch a forelock and bend a knee?

They don’t trust you.

If they don’t find you on Linked In, you don’t exist.

If your web site home page doesn’t position you and your services in 3 seconds, they are gone.

If you don’t publish regularly (written verbal or video) you may not have anything worthy of attention in their view.

If your clients won’t speak up for you should I bother looking into your services?

If you are not willing and actually eager to talk to them they can’t accept the outcomes you claim.

Credibility to Cash

What prospects think, feel and believe about you and your offer begins with you acknowledging that you are strangers. Even though human beings lean toward trust, they are suspicious. So everything you do must add to your cumulative credibility score with them. If you are controversial to get attention, you need to back up your views with cogent arguments. If you are an acknowledged expert in an industry you need to seek out industries with similar problems to work your magic.

Put your ego on hold.

The most important thing is to always remember that you have to help them on the journey from stranger to believer. Every action you take should be done with that in mind. Every action.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc.
See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Discovery Meeting

The Dance

where you sit down with a prospect and learn about her/his operation and get to ask questions from which you will develop a proposal.

You need to have this conversation whether you write a simple agreement or an in-depth three tier Value-based proposal. So that we are on the same page, Here’s what I believe should be included in a Value Based Proposal:

  • Statement of the situation
  • Objectives of the engagement
  • Measurement–outcomes that indicate success
  • Value to the prospect
  • Methodology and Options
  • Option 1 Project Advisor
  • Option 2 Market Expansion Advisor
  • Option 3 Trusted Advisor
  • Terms and Conditions

Meeting name

Don’t call it a Discovery meeting or chat or whatever. Put yourself in the position of the  prospect. To her or him, Discovery sounds like a scientific examination. It doesn’t sound friendly at all. Better words will be more neutral. For instance, consider:

  • Informational Get Together
  • Outcomes Conversation
  • Compatibility Chat
  • Get acquainted Discussion

Regardless of what you end up calling it, Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to elicit hard data in the prospect’s terms that will allow you to present three options that have higher outcomes for the prospect’s business as well as increased income for you.

For Starters

Start by determining the primary problem that has caused them to consider your services. I find that it is best to be direct. Ask questions like: What is the problem or concern that caused you to want to talk? In most cases the answer will be that some metric in the sales equation is off. Often this is a narrow view. Be sure to ascertain sufficient background information about the industry and cyclical changes to put the symptom in context. In addition it wise these days to look into disruptions by indirect competitors.

You are preparing a tripe tier Value Based Proposal. You need to have the prospect isolate the out come if this problem is solved. Ask, “What would it mean if we solved this problem?” You need an answer in terms of:

  • Savings
  • Increased Revenues or income
  • Outcome for individual or department or company
  • How it would present to those involved

Becoming unforgettable

Now that you know what would satisfy the primary concern you can probe for data that will help you move from memorable to unforgettable. That happens because you don’t stop with the symptom. You work with the prospect to determine root causes and other problems generated by the primary. You delve into comments you let slide by as they told you about the situation in general. You explore any comment that you believe is causing an unwanted outcome.

If they didn’t give you a long-term goal, get one now. If they were uncomfortable talking about any part of the operation, now is the time to ask. With many people once they have told you the big problem in their view, they will relax. Here is a string of questions that allow you to go deeper:

  1. How did you get started?
  2. Have things changed much since then?
  3. How does that impact the company today?
  4. What about in the future?
  5. What are you doing about it?
  6. How have the costs shifted because of that?
  7. What would it be worth to you if we could solve that?

The information that battery of questions generates will give you what you need to write Option 2 as well as have greater clarity for the situation, objectives, Measurement and Value.

Headed for indispensable

Each of us learn in the course of an engagement. We naturally become more conditioned to the client’s business. We acquire additional expertise in the industry and markets in which the client participates. That knowledge plus the intimate knowledge gained of the client business combined with your capability to see the patterns and think outside the box make it easy to become an ongoing advisor, planner and implementer.

That, unless deeper problems or concerns surface, is the essence of the third tier proposal which makes the consultant a member of the team on an ongoing basis.

Are there other questions? Of course. This is a conversation where you are gathering information.

Do not sell.

You can comment that you have worked with similar situations. You can agree to tell all about those but at a later date. You can admit if something is new but always suggest it sounds similar to something in your experience.

This interview is about getting as much information as you can from the prospect as possible. Often, the astuteness of your question will bring the client to the point they want to get started.

Resist the urge to give them a quote on the spot. Tell them that you want to really step back and look at what they have told you. Tell them they will have your proposal shortly and it will have your best thinking on how to proceed.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s new speaker demo reel.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com