Want to steal My £5K Ideal Client Profile (ICP) Workshop - or at least part of it?
I've spoken to a lot of consulting businesses recently who are increasingly seeking clarity on who their Ideal Client is.
It seems to be a recurring theme in this time of change.
To help you [if this is relevant] I have taken my instructors notes straight out of one of my Inhouse workshops I run with where we promise to get absolute clarity on who they will work with, what value they provide and very importantly - who they won't work with.
KICK START HERE:
Q) When you talk to a prospect or a referral how do you communicate what you do?
Give 5 minutes to think about it and write it down. 3 minutes to review. Usually, answers will include: world-class, full service, passion, customer focus, innovation, strategic, cutting edge, quality, exceed expectations, Value add, and market leader. Let them use examples from proposals, web site etc.
Q) What do these words mean? What are you trying to say here?
Give 10 minutes and work in two’s. Get them thinking about: What is it about our value that is most important to convey that describes who we are? How do we think, and what kind of work we do? Get people to say it as a paragraph or statement rather than bullet points.
BUZZWORD – Maybe an ‘air horn’ or ‘BS Indicator’ every time someone says a sales, marketing or Industry buzzword. Use as a Pattern Interrupt.
Q) What’s really different or unique? Why did clients hire you?
To help clarify it helps to ask why people hired you? 8 mins
- What was going on in their business?
- What challenges were they facing?
- What Opportunities were they facing and seeking to capitalise on?
- What were they open to?
Q) How did you help them change?
5 minutes. Look for tangibles rather than generality.
Q) What have your clients told you about why they bought/engaged with you?
5 mins thinking through and writing. When getting the group to answer look for ‘flags’ such as “I think it’s because…”
The second stage is to ask “ What have your clients TOLD YOU about why they bought from you, continue to come back and stay engaged with you?
If they haven’t asked – Why don’t you feel comfortable asking your clients why they do business with you?
The bottom line is if you are unsure of value then how can you communicate it? The best way is to ask current clients. How can you do that? Schedule some action points for the next 3 weeks.
Q) What do you think your clients choose to work with you? (not in-depth won deals analysis)
More detailed analysis: 45 mins. 5 mins set up, 5 mins per section, 15-minute review and whiteboard
Define who you sell to. What specifically describes their business? Size, geography, revenue, stage of growth,
Pain: What kind of pain are your prospects in when they hire you? What’s not working for them?
- Wasted time and money
- Need a quick turn around
- Project they won is not in their core competency
- What are your prospects looking to achieve when they turn to you?
- What opportunities are they looking to capitalise on?
i.e - Helping them win more business from high-profile key accounts
- What must they be open to if they are going to be a good fit for doing business with you?
- What do they have to be willing to do, think, accept, consider in order to be a legitimate prospect?
- This is the hardest one that most people miss, is the least used and the most important. Use on web, documents, white papers etc examples are:
I.E They MUST BE OPEN TO:
- Sharing their concerns
- New ideas
- Change and changing their thinking
- Managed Risk
- Paying Upfront
By being bold and upfront on these you will waste less time with people who don't fit your style of business.
What we are not…
Can be a way of focusing on key value or defining ways to sell your perceived benefits. Get them out early to regain control and the high ground. If you tell them this and it scares them off then it has saved you time and money.
- A good fit for start up companies
- Do not have the highest profile brand recognition i.e we aren;t a big 4 [what you aren't becomes a positive to the right people]
- The cheapest – tell up front and focus on unique value
STATEMENT) We are looking to attract more companies that?
Core principles: 15 mins
- Attract what you define
- Not new business but the right business
- Build up an Ideal client profile – which of the existing clients would you like to replicate?
- Define an A-type client. The more you discuss it the more defined through repetition
I am looking to attract “more of….”
- Use I am – makes it personal
- Be specific – Number of, purchasing volume, size,
- Characteristics, open to, etc
- Tangible (immediate need less than 3 months etc) and Intangibles (not looking for best price but value)
Expectations we have of our clients…
- Either a clearly defined requirement or give us a smaller task to define them
- Must accept that we know more than they do about our area of expertise
Q) What are our red flags?
Time: 20 minutes thinking, writing, discussion – 3 mins write up
Now being a little more sceptical about prospects is a good thing because you are no longer “happy to have the opportunity” just to get the business. What are your red flags? What do you need to be on the lookout for? What are the leading indicators that you are not a good fit? That doesn’t mean you won’t engage with them but will be careful about time and energy. Being willing to walk away from bad business is as important as finding good business.
- RFP/RFQ – No opportunity to meet or ask questions
- Very quick timeline or unclear timeline
- Demanding / very impersonal
- RFP – More than 3
- Cost is the primary focus
- Free consulting
What are you tolerating? – Attached to the money and afraid to let go? Downward spiral.
That's a wrap!
Write it up. Stick it up.
Create processes internally where you live by your word and stick to the type of client work you want.
You'll thank me in a few months. I promise.
Please put this into practice and let me know the results in the comments.
Want to learn more from me? Here's a few options:
🎣 Get Consulting Clients: The Ultimate Course On How To Win Consulting Clients Quickly
🤝Work with me 1 To 1: I love helping advise Entrepreneurial Consultants to break through their roadblocks and build unstoppable momentum, I find it’s an amazing way to help give clarity, strategy and the next steps to get you results - fast.
🏢 Have a Consulting Business Over £500k - I have a number of consulting programs to audit and grow your offer creation, marketing and sales. If you want to grow revenue and profit quicker than you could on your own, let's talk.