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How Can Sales Consultants Market Their Services?

By: Matthew Strawbridge - Updated: 16 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
How Can Sales Consultants Market Their Services?

Q.

Do you have any information that would be helpful to consultants marketing their services to prospective clients - online or by more conventional means?

(J.C, 5 March 2009)

A.

Although sales and marketing are separate disciplines, they are often treated together. As a sales consultant, you already have many of the skills you need to market yourself effectively.

Perhaps the most important skill you have as a sales consultant is the ability to empathise with the people you sell to. If you can build a rapport with someone, and truly understand what motivates them, you will have an easier task selling to them.

When you are marketing your own services, it's just as important to understand the motivations of your prospective clients. What are they trying to achieve? How could a consultant help them to get to where they want to be? What can you offer them that your competitors can't? If you can answer these questions convincingly, the task of selling your services will be that much easier.

We are living through uncertain financial times. At the moment, some companies are cutting back on spending; others are taking the opportunity to invest in growing their business. This means that there is a receptive audience for what you have to offer, but you still have to find that audience and put forward a convincing case.

Businesses don't mind spending money as long as they are confident that they are getting good value. If you can demonstrate that you are a good-value proposition, then you can secure new clients. Anything you can do to reduce the real or perceived risk will be beneficial. Can you work on a commission-only basis? Do you have positive feedback from grateful clients you have helped recently?

If you don't already do so, I would recommend specialising in a niche market. In some ways, the smaller the niche the better. This has the dual benefits of making it easier for you to advertise your services, and marks you out as a specialist (which could give you the edge over more generalist competitors in the same market).

Having defined your niche, you need to promote yourself. This should come fairly naturally to you. There are, of course, the traditional approaches that any small business would use to market itself: mailing lists, local advertising (newspaper, radio), having a decent website, attending trade shows and conferences... the list goes on.

However, a little extra effort will make you stand out as an individual and give prospective clients confidence that you can do a good job for them. Try to promote yourself in a totally unique way, something that you've never seen anyone else do before. What about giving away free Easter eggs with your company name on? Or hiring a town crier? Or handing out fortune cookies with your name on the back of each fortune?

If you can demonstrate your creativity and individuality (perhaps getting some free press coverage along the way) then you may even find that the prospective clients start contacting you!

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