For many people, finding clients is one of the most challenging aspects of running a consulting business. You know the types of clients you want to work with, but how do you actually get those companies to hire you?
If you find yourself in this situation, then I have good news for you. Once you’ve landed that very first client, finding the next one becomes much easier.
And by taking the right actions consistently, you can build a repeatable process that brings in a steady stream of new clients. This is the best way to grow your consulting business and do work that’s meaningful to you.
5 Ways to Find the Right Consulting Clients
The demand for consultants is expected to grow by 14% through 2028, so there is plenty of opportunity for qualified consultants. Here are five ways you can not only find the right types of consulting clients but convince them that you’re the best person for the job.
1. Optimize Your Online Presence
Before you start looking for clients, you need to create the kind of online presence that will draw your ideal clients to you. That’s because potential clients will research you, and what they find could determine whether or not they choose to hire you.
Your website and social media profiles are a form of social proof, so you want to use them to paint yourself in the best light possible. On your website, the best way to do this is by sharing a detailed portfolio of your work.
Your portfolio should include examples of the work you did, and the results you achieved. And most importantly, be sure to include a client testimonial. If you don’t have any client work to share yet, ask a previous employer if you can share some of the work you did as an employee.
Next, you’re going to clean up all of your social media accounts. Choose one custom URL for all of your accounts, use a professional headshot, and start sharing content that is focused on your ideal client and solving their problems.
2. Send Cold and Warm Pitches to Potential Clients
If you want to get clients quickly as a consultant, then cold pitching is one of the best ways to do it. To get started, you’ll make a list of companies you’d like to work with and then reach out to them via a cold email.
The benefit of cold pitching clients is that you have their undivided attention, and don’t have to compete with anyone else to get the job. You can also connect with that person on LinkedIn first so it’s more of a warm outreach.
When you contact that person, you need to personalize your email. Take the time to find the person’s name, and personalize it to share what you know about that company and their strategy. You can also include insights about things that are currently going on in their industry.
Second, share some of your expertise for free. For instance, if you specialize in market analysis and growth strategy, you could share insights about their competitive positioning.
And finally, make it easy for that person to schedule a sales call with you. Send them a link to your scheduler, so you don’t have to email back and forth to find a time that works.
3. Master the Sales Call
If you’ve never done a sales call before, they can feel pretty nerve-wracking at first. But when done right, sales calls are one of the best ways to turn your prospects into clients.
As the consultant, you need to lead the call from the beginning. You can start by thanking them for taking the time to meet with you, and then asking some very specific questions to get the conversation flowing.
Here are some sample questions you can ask:
- What challenges is your company dealing with right now?
- Who is your target audience?
- Who are your competitors?
- If we worked together, what would success look like to you?
At the end of the call, you can summarize everything the client talked about and share how you can help them. From there, you can explain what the next steps are in the process.
4. Come Up With a Winning Proposal
If the client is interested in working with you, then the next step is to send them a proposal outlining your services. Here are the essential elements you should include in every client proposal:
- A cover letter thanking the client with a summary of why you’re the best person to help them
- A recap of the client’s challenges and how working together will address those issues
- An outline of the scope of the project, the timeline, and the deliverables—try to be as detailed as possible to avoid scope creep
- Your fees, acceptable payment methods, and payment due dates
- A contract that outlines the terms and conditions and a cancellation clause
5. Continue to Follow Up
And finally, there will be some prospects who are willing to get on the phone with you but don’t end up hiring you. Maybe the timing of your conversation just wasn’t right or maybe they found someone else.
Whatever the reason, you should find creative ways to continue to follow up with that person. Connect with them on LinkedIn and regularly like and comment on their posts. Email them periodically to see if there’s anything you can help them with, and send useful articles and insights related to their role.
If you stay in touch then when the timing is right, and they’re ready to hire a consultant, you’ll be top of mind.
Final Thoughts on How to Get Clients
Creating a repeatable sales process is the best way to find the right clients and build a pipeline of prospects. If you need help getting started, you should consider joining BTG’s community of independent talent.
When you join the BTG talent community, you’ll have access to companies and projects that you might not be exposed to otherwise. And we’ll support you and the client through every step of the project.
About the AuthorVisit Website More Content by Jamie Johnson