5 Sales Mistakes to Avoid in Your Consulting Business

Woman Standing on the Center Table With Four People on the Side in your consulting business
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Few things are more rewarding for new company owners than signing that first customer and having the opportunity to do what they love inside the framework of their own firm and brand. Freelancing is an exciting undertaking, and it is a major business in today’s economy. According to a 2016 Upwork research, there are 55 million freelancers in the United States, accounting for 35% of the American labor force. These are the 5 sales mistakes to avoid in your consulting business.

Let me be the first to congratulate you on your decision to join the consulting club. You’re in for one of the most gratifying professional experiences of your life, but only if you put in the effort to protect yourself. If you skip this crucial stage, you’ll be setting yourself up for a lot of unneeded stress and maybe burnout.

Here are 5 Sales Mistakes to avoid in your Consulting Business:

1. Failure to establish the appropriate tone.

Since most freelancers are so eager to get their first one or two customers, it’s normal for them to fall into the trap of doing a little additional work here and there. They will excitedly react to texts and emails right away, and they will answer calls when they should have been scheduled. They believe they are being kind and flexible (which they are), but the clients view this as setting the tone for the remainder of the contract. This usually backfires because consumers get used to receiving replies in real-time, all the time. Confusion sets in before you realize it. Both the consultant and the client are dissatisfied and angry.

Establish clear professional boundaries with your customers, and expect them to do the same. Agree on working hours and response times, as well as how you will plan calls, meetings, and Skype sessions. After you’ve reached an agreement, write everything down in your contract (see below) and have both parties sign it. If you are going on vacation or will be absent on particular days, notify your customers as soon as feasible. Request that they do the same.

2. Fear of entering into a deal.

I recently asked 15 consultants whether they issued contracts to their customers and was startled to learn that just three did. What is the most typical reason for not submitting a formal agreement? Consultants were concerned that doing so may lose them a job. The simplest approach to overcome this expensive issue is to recognize that great contracts are put in place to protect both parties, not to allow one to bully the other. This is accomplished by clearly defining obligations and timetables, ensuring payments and fees, and putting in place a legal agreement if the partnership does not work out. Make it lawful to protect oneself and avoid these mistakes in your consulting business.

A contract is a fundamental stage in the process of conducting excellent business for most professions. To put it clearly, someone who is hesitant to put his money where his mouth is is not someone with whom you should do business. Indeed, some company owners I talked with said that they would avoid a consultant who did not provide one, fearing that the consultant would be unprofessional or untrustworthy. It is a great investment to pay a few hundred dollars to have a lawyer review your wording (to verify that you have covered everything correctly and are completely protected).

3. Being too nice to clients.

We all want to work in a pleasant setting, but being too close to a customer will surely blur the boundary between personal and professional ties. In the long term, this might make objective decision-making and straightforward communication difficult.

Maintain a professional distance to protect yourself.

No one is suggesting you shouldn’t open up a little bit or decline every drink offer, but it is crucial to know what to discuss and when to go. Here is where the age-old adage comes into play: don’t say or do anything you’d be ashamed to have in print. Simple

4. Enabling them to treat you as if you were an employee.

One of the most difficult challenges for freelancers is forgetting that they are in a professional collaboration with their customers. You are working for others, not for yourself. The difference is significant.

Safeguard yourself by remembering that limits are beneficial.

As a consultant, you do not get the perks of a full-time employee and are not engaged in the day-to-day operations of the company. You were hired to perform a certain job because of your expertise, not to get caught up in office politics or drama or to worry about your client’s attitude or altering choices every day. Moreover, you are not on-site to “join in and be a team player” on activities that are not defined in your contract. This is another one of the sales mistakes to avoid in your consulting business.

5. Failure to keep clients responsible.

Allowing customers to submit deliverables late, jumping through hoops to finish assignments by ridiculous deadlines, or working with an unpaid invoice are all examples of how many freelancers contribute to a culture of chaos by failing to draw a line in the sand when clients act inappropriately.

Establish consequences to protect yourself.

Although changes and delays are unavoidable on most large-scale projects, there must be a clear understanding of who is responsible for what and when it is due. To handle to-do lists, I prefer to utilize a task-management system and follow up with a weekly email describing what is being worked on and what is outstanding. It’s also crucial to realize that responsibility extends beyond just crossing things off a list.

If a customer arranges a call and fails to show up, fails to pay an invoice on time, or crosses a line, you must have a procedure in place to handle it. Billing the customer, a portion or the whole amount of time set aside for the call is allowed, as is suspending all work until an invoice is paid. Just be sure to include these instructions in the contract ahead of time. It is your responsibility to follow them once they are in place. These are the 5 sales mistakes to avoid in your consulting business that was covered. You can check Norstrat to read more articles like this.


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