Everyone’s time is limited and valuable, so they are always thinking in terms of “What’s in it for me?” Strategies that incorporate a mutually beneficial outcome are the best approach, because it makes everyone happy and helps everyone achieve their goals.
There are many ways to market your services that can benefit others.
These are just a few:
1) Co-Branding –
It is defined as designating (a product or service) with the brands of joint manufacturers or sponsors. This will enable you to promote your services for much less and increase your audience reach.
2) Sharing Trade Show Booths –
Great for complimentary businesses like realtors and mortgage lenders
3) Referral Partners –
Building a solid group of trusted people to exchange business with.
Rewarding businesses who refer your services.
5) Speaking To Groups/Organizations-
Establishing yourself as a subject matter expert and reliable resource, as well as meeting ideal connections and building relationships.
6) Business Groups With Common Interests-
Spending time with like minded individuals to build deeper relationships and support each others goals and objectives.
7) Offering Free Consultations-
This enables you and your customer to determine if you are the right fit.
On the subject of Free Consultations, many question the effectiveness of this method because they feel their time is wasted when they do not turn into direct business.
If you change your mindset, you will find that the benefits far outweigh the investment:
1) You have a captive audience to build a deeper connection with and establish rapport.
2) You establish credibility, appreciation, and respect. Trust is earned. Your prospect is looking for clues as to whether you listen, care, and can be relied upon to help them.
3) You set clear expectations to prevent any potential misunderstandings, should your prospect decide to work with you.
4) If it is not the right fit, you can thank them for considering you, stay connected, and offer a free consultation to anyone they know who may need your services. Remember, just because you aren’t the right fit, it doesn’t mean they don’t know others who are.
5) If necessary, refer them to someone who can assist them more effectively. The person you are referring will benefit, and so with your prospect. Your connection will be appreciated by both parties.
Here are some quick tips to make your consultations effective:
1) Request them. Many people hesitate to reach out for a free consultation because they feel they will be sold, or that they will waste the consultants time if they decide not to proceed. Think of it as an opportunity to meet a new and potentially really cool person and remember that they are learning from you as well.
2) Be honest and upfront about what you expect.
3) Be respectful of each others time. Plan ahead with any pertinent questions and information, and track time to ensure you meet the guidelines that have been set.
4) Share specific concerns such as price, quality, speed, previous experience, expectations, etc? The more you share, the more you will be able to ascertain if you are a good match. This is beneficial for both parties and will create a solid foundation for the relationship you will establish together.
5) Show your appreciation with a card, a small gift, a social media post, or an email or even a referral. Saying thank you and acknowledging their time goes a long way.
These tips apply to both the consultant and the prospect. Don’t loose sight of the fact that you are both gaining value from the interaction and are building relationships. If you follow these tips, you may be pleasantly surprised by the way you approach free consulting in the future.