MEASURE AND STALK YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS
Short posts for hospitality consultants and those considering transitioning to the hotel consulting profession.
I impart three major things about gaining clients in my mentorship program. Briefly,
- You can’t actually sell consulting services
- You must make it easy for a potential client to find you
- It’s all about building relationships
Having a marketing or outreach program is not enough – you must track the status of your efforts.
I’ve distilled what successful sole practioner consultants have told me about their marketing efforts and what leads to a signed engagement letter.
Before you start your program, I’m assuming that you have targeted those in your data base who could be your “ideal client” – those with a compelling need for your specialization.
Here are five condensed steps used by some of the best sole practioners I know:
1.REACHING OUT TO THE RIGHT TARGETS. Start by using personalized methods of connection. Contact them by telephone, email, hand written note. Perhaps an inquiry as to their availability for a telephone conversation regarding an important industry issue. Merely a request for a telephone call or meeting will sound like a sales call . For example, you are genuinely interested in their opinion of an issue that you are writing an article about, or are engaged in with a client – show them that you value their opinion.
- BUILD A POTENTIAL RELATIONSHIP DATA BASE. Responses are the beginning of a separate data base according to their potential and importance.
- THAT ALL IMPORTANT CONVERSATION OR MEETING. This is your goal. The beginning of building a relationship.
- NUTURING THE RELATIONSHIP Eventually through your ongoing relationship you will find their compelling need. But you must listen to make that determination. Listen to understand NOT to respond. This is not the time to impress with your credentials or tell “war stories” about your experience.
- THE TIMING FOR SUBMITTING A PROPOSAL. Once you zero in on a compelling need you now have the perfect rationale for the submission of a proposal to deal with the client’s need. With experience, you’ll know if you need further dialogue before submitting a proposal.
The successful consultants I know tract these five stages on a monthly basis. After all, it’s all about how many proposals are in your “pipe line”