If you’re working as a consultant, regardless of the field, industry, or the type of expertise that you’re offering, there are some things that every client expects (or at least should expect). Here, we’re going to look at what you should offer them beyond the excellent advice you offer that can help you bring in and retain more of them.
Anyone who has been in any line of business for long enough will be able to recognise someone who’s very good at talking the talk without having anything to back it up. While you want to be careful not to project that image, you do want to ensure that you’re able to create a strong brand identity for your business. Confidence, passion for success, and the image of prestige can all be very important and you should focus on creating that through your website, through content that you produce, and through any branded materials you create. Of course, you need to walk the walk if you’re going to talk the talk, too.
The confidence that you project in your brand should also be reflected in the evidence that you know what you’re talking about. If you’re a relatively new consultant, then you should focus on highlighting your professional history and a strong “about me” page can help you do that. When you start having success with your clients, make sure to get their testimonials or to post case studies with their permission. The more experience you have, the more you can lean on this, so don’t worry if you’re not able to muster as much evidence as you would like, initially.
You need your clients to be able to trust that you are acting in their stead and in their best interest. Of course, trust is earned and you will be able to better establish it in new relationships when you have a track record. However, you can make sure that you’re given the trust you need to operate and to offer clients the safeguards they need with the help of a consultancy agreement. When you’re legally bound to act in their interest and to make sure that you don’t divulge any information about their business without their express permission, it can help business owners rest a little easier about working with you.
When you’re working with a client, you should always make sure that you’re reaching out to them on a regular basis and that you’re always there to be reached. You can use workplace communication apps to make it easier for them to pop in with a question any time, and leave them updates that they can respond to, with an appointment for a future chat always somewhere down the pipeline. You want to become their “go-to” person, but you also want to make sure that they actively feel the work you’re doing for them.
As a consultant, you should know that your clients expect more from you than just your general expertise. You should be able to paint a picture of success and reliability for them, and that’s what the above tips can help with.