Let’s face it, consulting often gets a bad rap. It’s perceived as nebulous, too theoretical, too touchy-feely. Plus, it’s expensive. To combat this bias, use work samples and deliverables to show prospective clients how you do what you do. Demystify your process. This goes a long way toward removing uncertainty and skepticism.
For 10 years as an independent change strategy consultant, I used this tactic to win several projects. Many clients don’t understand the difference between change management work and the more complex change strategy work. Most know that communications and training are involved but don’t understand how to achieve the buy-in of cross-functional stakeholders in a way tailored to their situation.
When I interviewed with a client, I brought about five samples and then selected one or two to show. By presenting a sample change readiness assessment, stakeholder analysis, change strategy document, or an engagement plan, I enabled the client to literally see what they were buying in hiring me. This gave the client confidence that (a) I knew what I was doing, and (b) the company would get its money’s worth. Seeing the samples helped the client imagine what I would be doing and see how it would help. I can’t think of a time when this tactic didn’t work. [Read more…]