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Million Dollar Consulting® Mindset
From Alan Weiss

Volume 1 Number 4
April 2011

A monthly newsletter with the objective of quickly and pragmatically helping consultants to improve their craft, results, and lives.

How to Stand Out in A Crowd

Competition opens markets, but you still must stand out in that market. Wendy’s and Burger King try to create very different identities from MacDonald’s, even though they’re all selling hamburgers.

What can you do to stand out in a vibrant but crowded market?

  • Be insightful. Don’t maintain that teams should be developed, but take the position that most such groups are actually committees, not teams.

  • Step out of the hackneyed and mundane. Tell people that “talking the walk” is equally important with “walking the talk.”

  • Be contrarian. Assert that leadership doesn’t originate at he top or the bottom, but in the middle.

  • Use examples. Most approaches are far too conceptual and theoretical. Use examples, preferably from the daily business headlines, to make your particular points. (“Today’s purchase of T-Mobile by AT&T illustrates my point of consolidation inevitably following frenzied growth.”)

  • Don’t keep citing the thought leaders. If you use the dominant figures in the discipline to try to prove the legitimacy of your approach, the natural question becomes: “Then why shouldn’t I as a client go directly to the source?”

  • Don’t merely copy. You need original intellectual property and models. Wendy’s doesn’t have a burger called “The Big Wendy” like the Big Mac. It establishes proprietary offerings (The Baconator).

  • Use testimonials. Nothing sets you apart like a delighted client. Exploit your client list and try to obtain both video and textual testimonials.

Unlike fish in a school for protection, you want to be caught!

Case Study

A consultant who does not use speaking as a marketing device has a book proposal in front of an acquisitions editor at a major publisher. The editor is positively disposed toward the content, but questions the size of the audience and the consultant’s marketing “platform.” The editor provides three examples of past first-time authors who had 30 or more speaking appearances a year and thousands of potential book buyers in those audiences, and asks how this author compares.

The consultant at first panics, then tries to “create” speaking engagements that even she realizes are unconvincing (e.g., Rotary meetings), and then considers embarking on a frenzied attempt to procure trade association speaking assignments.

With some coaching, however, the consultant ignores the arbitrary alternative—speaking—and focuses on the objective—the editor’s need to have assurance that the author can help sell books. Consequently, the consultant points out that she has 200 past clients with tens of thousands of employees for whom the book is relevant; sits on the board of three other firms which can order thousands of books from the publisher; and is interviewed on the radio an average of twice a month.

This carries the day. Always look at the objective and find the best alternatives for you, don’t accept arbitrary alternatives that happened to be best for someone else.

Frequently Asked Question

Q. What do I do when I get the call from accounts payable that my payment terms violate their policy, and I’ll have to accept a monthly payment for the duration of the project rather than a 50 percent deposit and the balance in 60 days?

A. Never argue with bureaucrats. Go back to your buyer, who signed off on your proposal with those payment terms, and say, “We have a problem.” Virtually all buyers can make exceptions to standard policies, and virtually all bureaucrats never will for an outsider unless an internal, senior person demands it.

Upcoming

Million Dollar Consulting® College

April, 4-8, 2011
London
exact site to be announced

Participate in the finest development anywhere for consultants and related professionals.

The Time of Your Life
Ordering Your Universe

May 10, 2011
Platinum Hotel
Las Vegas, NV

For the first time, I’m conducting a full day practicum to maximize your productivity while reducing labor intensity.

Million Dollar Consulting® College

May 23-27, 2011
Castle Hill Inn
Newport, RI

Participate in the finest development anywhere for consultants and related professionals.


For readers of this newsletter: 10 percent discount on the Million Dollar Consulting® Colleges in April in London and Newport in May/Oct. Click the month for details and registration. Use the email link below to alert me you’re taking advantage of the offer.

© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.
You may reprint and excerpt this newsletter provided that you include our copyright, the source, the author, and “reprinted with permission.”
ISSN: 2159-306X

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alan@summitconsulting.com
http://www.summitconsulting.com
http://www.contrarianconsulting.com
Twitter: @BentleyGTCSpeed

Million Dollar Consulting® Mindset

Volume 1 Number 4
April 2011

For more issues of Million Dollar Consulting® Mindset, click the link below.

Alan Weiss's Friday Wrap™

In response to people who have asked me for a regular and consistent "shot in the arm booster" for their growth, I've created this new relationship for 2011. You'll be able to submit questions, and I'll take the most controversial and/or popular and answer them each week. You'll hear and see my newest intellectual property first. Everything will be archived and downloadable solely for members of the community.

Mentor Program

The mentor program is conducted on two levels, with three identical programs offered on each level. The two dimensions are Trusted Advisor  and Mastery. Click here for the profiles of the current Mentor Masters.

Million Dollar Coaching

Build A World Class Practice By Helping Others Succeed
By Alan Weiss, PhD
McGraw-Hill 2010
(Soft Cover)

The Writing on the Wall

A monthly video series hosted by Alan Weiss and featuring Koufax the Wonder Dog, addressing topics of global importance, professional importance, or whatever has distracted or irritated Alan at the moment.

Million Dollar Consulting® College

Oct. 31- Nov. 4, 2011
Castle Hill Inn
Newport, RI

Participate in the finest development anywhere for consultants and related professionals.