When I started to offer services to medium to large sized corporations, I had no idea what I was doing. No one was there to guide me and show me the way, so I floundered and found myself doing one-off projects and not charging what I was worth. I was working so hard but I didn’t have much to show for it!
Things finally changed for the better when my coach helped me to see some of the costly mistakes I was making. When I stopping making these fatal flaws and starting implementing well-rounded solutions, that was a major game-changer in my business. I started to attract many more corporate clients and gain lucrative, long-term ongoing work with Fortune 100 clients.
I’m sharing four of the biggest mistakes I continue to see consultants make as they throw their hat into the corporate arena. But I also share the solutions so you can course correct and get more corporate clients than you ever thought possible.
Fatal Flaw #1). Limiting Yourself to One Pillar of Expertise
If you only specialize in one area, you have a very limited business model. Chances are higher an organization will say, “No we don’t need that right now,” than if you have five to seven pillars of expertise. You may get one workshop or lunch presentation but it’s much harder to get long-term work if your services are limited.
Solution: Expand your work to at least five pillars around the various facets of your expertise. So for example, if you’re an image consultant, design multiple seminars for your corporate client since we all know that our image isn’t limited to just how we look. The more you can broaden your expertise the more long-term projects you’ll get at a higher fee. In my experience, this will give you an 80% increase in corporate work since companies are on the lookout for versatile experts who can help them achieve their organizational goals.
Fatal Flaw #2). Sticking with an Inflexible Speaking Style that Doesn’t Motivate the Audience.
Many consultants go in with “one style fits all” approach to their presentations when they work with a corporate group. Unfortunately, that style may not appeal to this particular organization and may not help them obtain the expected results. There are different styles needed depending on whether you are doing a companywide keynote, a kick-off meeting, or running a professional development workshop with creative exercises to cement the learning. Today corporations are looking for experts that know how to facilitate, educate, inspire and get audiences interacting to accelerate their learning.
Solution: If you want to be known as “the” expert, and charge high fees, your presentation style and technique have to be stellar. Learn and try different teaching modalities or facilitation techniques. Explore what this particular audience needs and then design your presentation
based on what will motivate them to change for the better. Most people don’t change after attending one workshop, but true experts know how to motivate their audience using tested techniques that have been proven to get top results.
Fatal Flaw #3) Not Showing Up to the Conversational Dance with the Decision Maker.
Many consultants who want to get into the corporate arena, fail to show up and be fully present when they are meeting with the decision maker. So when the corporate buyer says, “This isn’t a priority for us right now,” they’re stumped. Showing up means asking the right questions at the right time, listening closely for the challenges they’re facing that lie within your wheelhouse of expertise, and then using powerful language to position yourself as the expert. If you’re not fully engaged in this conversation, you won’t know how to write the winning proposal.
Solution: Great consultants win business because they know how to position their expertise and show the decision makers that they’ll help them meet their initiatives faster. Always prepare in advance for these meetings. Know the questions you need to ask and when to ask them. Probe deeper to really begin to build trust with the buyer. Showcase real value conversationally so they know if they hire you over everyone else, you will help them achieve their personal and professional goals faster.
Fatal Flaw #4). Undervaluing Services by Not Having a Long-Term Vision.
I always want my coaching clients to charge what they are worth for a project, but many times they want to undercharge in hopes that they will obtain more business down the road. This approach backfires since now they are locked into always having to offer that cheap price because the company knows that is what they paid before. Or they think that this one-time project will be done and over soon. That’s not bigger thinking.
Solution: Ask for what you are worth on your first project with a new company. I encourage my clients to charge a value-based project fee with their long-term vision in mind. If you do excellent work on your first corporate project, you have your foot in the door. Then begin to mine for other work by figuring out new workshops you can offer or asking for introductions to other corporate leaders.
Do you see yourself making any of these mistakes? Don’t beat yourself up, it wasn’t until my coaches began to show me how to position my services offerings, become a flexible and influential speaker, be more assertive in talking with the corporate decision maker, and charging value-based fees, that things began to turn around.
Sarah’s Predictable Results Insights
- Which of these four fatal flaws are you struggling with in your efforts to get more corporate clients?
- How can you implement the recommended solution?
- If you’re unclear on why you’re not succeeding, is it time to get the outside perspective from a coach?
Thankfully today I have the right process and marketing tactics baked into my corporate projects to maximize each opportunity to turn one client into a six-figure client. If you want these kinds of accelerated results, it may be time to consider one-on-one coaching, please contact me at 1-800-267-3245 for a complimentary strategy session to see how we may be of service to you.