Did you know that large companies have big budgets set aside to work with small business owners? So why not get your fair share of the money they have to spend? If you are a consultant or trainer and you want to supercharge your business, you’re smart to consider corporate work as one of your most lucrative revenue streams.
Today I regularly work with top 100 corporations but in the beginning I was intimidated every time I stepped into the corporate arena. I’ve studied this process over the years and sometimes it feels like I’ve made every mistake possible.
So I decided to share with you some of the most common mistakes I’ve made, and I’ve seen consultants that I coach make (before they hired me!), when transitioning into working with more corporate clients. Being aware of these mistakes now will help you not lose precious time in acquiring this lucrative business.
Mistake #1 – Your service offerings are too limited.
Perhaps you’ve worked hard to develop a stellar signature program, which is great. But the problem I see too many consultants make is they have only one method or program to offer. If you don’t have a wide enough service offering you won’t be sustainable in the corporate world. You need to explore how to deepen your programs to be of service to corporate clients over the long-term.
Mistake #2 – You don’t know how to market your services to a corporate audience.
If you’ve never worked in corporate you may not be in tune with today’s corporate culture and learning opportunities. You should start studying both your target company and what your competitors are doing so you can learn how to position, package and promote yourself with corporate clients.
Mistake #3 – You undervalue yourself, leading to suspiciously low fees.
If you’re used to working with small businesses you might have very competitive prices. The problem is if you undervalue yourself in comparison with other corporate trainers, coaches or consultants it can raise a red flag and make you appear unprofessional.
Mistake #4 – You don’t have a relationship building system.
I see consultants pitch an idea once and when it doesn’t get any traction they drop it. Working with corporate clients requires you develop a regular system to stay-in-touch and keep the project moving forward, such as asking for testimonials or referrals within the organization.
Mistake #5 – You’re not closing the deal.
Closing the deal is what can really trip people up. This can happen when you try to sell too early in the relationship. On the other hand, you can make the mistake of doing too much work on a project before the agreement is signed. (I did this once and I wasted hours on a project that ended up stalling out so I never saw a penny.)
Mistake #6 – You’re not talking to the decision maker.
A really common mistake is not talking with the buyer but with the gatekeeper. This will keep your conversations stagnant. You need to be talking with the decision makers – those that have the power and the money to hire you in their organization. Oftentimes these are not HR people, but divisional heads of departments. These are the people you need to listen to so you discover what they are really looking for and can adapt your services to meet their needs.
Mistake #7 – You lack confidence.
Do you find yourself thinking, “I can’t compete in corporate arena”? If so that lack of confidence will leak through in your presentation. You need to shift your mindset and focus on the value you provide.
There is actually one more mistake I see consultants make when they step into the corporate arena – you try to go it alone. It’s so much better to find a coach or a mentor who has a successful track record in the corporate world and is willing to share with you what works and what doesn’t. I guarantee you I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the business coaches I hired to share their secrets with me.
If you are ready to jump into the corporate arena and want to know how to get started or if you know you are making mistakes that are costing you business, contact us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation. Call 1-800-267-3245 to get it scheduled today.
Predictable Results™ Assignment
Analyze the seven deadly mistakes we covered in this article. Do you see room for improvement? Write down how you plan to improve. If you’re not sure how to improve then call 1-800-267-3245 for your free 30-minute consultation and we’ll help you get on the right track.
As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Business Coaching, provides leading-edge business building strategies for small business owners & entrepreneurs who wish to take their company to the next level.
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Copyright © 2016, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIM, CPBS
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