It’s no one else’s fault if no one sees your vision. If your pitch doesn’t land. If a client isn’t confident in your ability to deliver. Having an internal locus of control (taking accountability for yourself) is important for a solo consultant and any business owner. If you leave blame to others, where is the accountability for you to improve?
All right, guys, I need to give you some tough love here, and I’m sorry to do it, but I need to be honest about what you need to be mindful of so that you can continue to improve how you operate individually and your business. And this is going to be true, whether you’re a solo consultant. If you run a boutique marketing consulting firm, if you are running a marketing agency or pretty much any walk of life within the entrepreneurship realm, you need to stop blaming others. You need that internal locus of control. They call it an organizational behavior. You need to stay accountable. You need to stop blaming others. So when it comes to the ideas that you have, you need to sell the idea. You can’t blame others for not seeing your vision for not really understanding your idea that comes down to you.
Now for this, we’re looking at a couple of things. So let’s say it’s a marketing campaign. You’re pitching the marketing campaign. You’re saying, well, we’re going to place it here, here, and here. And it’s going to be this much to actually get it out there. And this is our fee on what grounds am I supposed to believe that that’s really effective? Sell me on the idea that that campaign is going to work. And tell me why. Part of that is going to be, what kind of return are we going to get? How many people are going to see our ads? How many people are going to be in bed and become leads of those leads. How many are going to become sales? If it’s the creative that you’re trying to sell, what research has shown that customers care about? This campaign angle that you’re taking. You’re telling me that we need to double down on this idea in the market.
Well, why, what is it about the customers that lead you to believe they really care about this? That information is out there. You don’t have to go and collect it. You don’t have to do your own market research. You can just do a little bit of research on the customers, which you should be doing anyhow. And you should be able to say from that, well, this is why mr. Prospect, this is it. A, B and C. We know this. These are breaded institutions that have done this research. We’re using that research to extend your dollar. We’re still going to do testing and experiments. And we do that in a very methodical, rigorous manner, but we’re basing that upon. Not intuition, not our gut feeling, not what we think, but real research. And it’s telling us X, Y, and Z. And that is why we’ve designed this campaign around this idea that is going to work for your market.
That carries over through to just the proposal itself. If they’re not a client yet they’re at stage one where you’re trying to get them over the line. We can’t just expect to give them a generic proposal and not get their answers clarified. And the answers they’re looking for are typically, what is my return on investment? What is it going to generate in business? What is it going to cost? And that is where the ROI is calculated. And second to that is strategically. How is this going to help us? How is this going to reposition our company? I was just going to make us better able to reach the market and have a stronger presence in the market. You need to sell that to them and you need to give them that information. They need to logically make sense of it. Emotions play a role, and they play a factor and that’s communicated through the logic as well.
Logically, we’re going to accomplish X, Y, and Z emotionally. What that means for you is a, B and C. So let’s think about another thing to think about. Also in sales pipelines, sales are the lifeblood of a consulting business. As a marketing consultant, it is easy to fall into the path of servicing the business, the clients that you have and kind of neglecting your own business, not continuing to do the marketing for yourself, not continuing to do the sales and get your name out there as a marketing consultant that can serve XYZ type of clients. And then the sales pipeline dries up. And there’s always some kind of excuse for that, that can appear. And you can’t blame others. You can’t blame the market. You can’t blame anything but yourself. You need to keep yourself accountable. And the rope a year, there’s all these times where you can say, well, yeah, sales would be going well, but, and you can’t let yourself fall into that excuse because that is what it is.
It’s not a reason. It’s an excuse. You know, sales would be going better, but it’s the summer right now. People aren’t really doing business. That’s almost the end of the year. People are already spending their dollars for the next year, planning it for next year. I need to wait a little bit longer or I wait a little bit too long. So now I’m trying to catch up or, you know, it’s September and people already did their planning back in whatever months for this period, or, you know, the summer was slow and I’m still building up my pipeline. It’s only September. And that carries forward to the next period of next period and so forth. You get into January, February, and while people are already committed their dollars for the year, they already figured that out. So it’s too late. All of those excuses are what kill consulting businesses.
You need to consistently be honest with yourself so that you are consistently taking actions that you need to, but you’re consistently building the pipeline instantly developing your skills at selling ideas, improving proposals, communicating more effectively. That is ultimately what your profession is built on as a marketing consultant. That is what drives the lifeblood of your business. And that is also what drives the, the talent and the expertise that you bring to your clients. So the more excuses that you make, the more that you blame others, the less that you have that internal locus of control, the less that you are accountable and honest, the more you’re going to struggle. And that is just a bit of tough love. I wanted to share with you.
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