Who Are Your Clients?
To identify who your prospective clients are, you first need to decide what you are selling. The previous chapters offered numerous ideas, outlined the job of consulting and its requirements, showed you how to set up a consulting service, and offered professional resources. It's now time to define your consulting service and those who will best benefit from your knowledge and advice.
Define Your Service
What are you proposing to sell? Chapter 1 offered a list of more than 150 broad consulting fields and each has numerous specialties within it. In addition, each specialty can be approached differently. You can specialize in instruction or advice. For example, as a party consultant, you can offer classes in hosting a holiday party or you can coordinate all aspects of a corporate party — or both.
To help you define your consulting service, the following list includes some example definitions:
Assist shopping mall developers with land-use planning.
Help struggling college students learn how to study more effectively.
Consult with homeowners who are considering major remodeling projects.
Help employers read and understand applicant body language.
Offer problem resolution classes to couples preparing for marriage.
Offer plans and advice to large landowners on renewable forestry options.
Advise families on cost-effective vacations in foreign countries.
There are thousands of other consulting service concepts available. Each can be implemented in various ways depending on the consultant and the clients. For every problem-solver there is a problem that others want solved.
Once you have defined what services you will offer, identifying prospective clients is much easier. For example, if your specialty is helping employers read and understand applicant body language, your prospects, certainly, are employers. More specifically, they are employers who are making critical hires and need all the information they can gather on candidates. Some prospects will want their human resource staff to attend a seminar on reading candidate body language. Others will want you to participate in critical hiring interviews and offer readings and advice.
You're defining your prospects: Employers who need information or advice on hiring candidate body language. You can be more specific, focusing on employers in the financial and banking industries, in retail management, or in other fields. These are the people who will pay you for your knowledge and advice. In Chapter 7, you will learn more about writing a business plan, which will help you research and summarize your prospective clients.