🎙️Show Notes for Episode 075 of the IC Podcast

Aug 18, 2022
 
 
Can you believe that summer is almost over and we will soon be approaching the last quarter of this year?!
 
As you begin wrapping up this summer and establishing a routine to move into the fall, I want to talk with you about something that you can be implementing now to really impact the rest of your year. 
  
I'm calling it the Quick Wins Business Development Strategy.
  
You may be in a position where it feels like you have a pretty short window left to generate any impactful revenue for the remainder of this year. There's no reason to write off this year, the quick wins business development strategy will help you make a powerful impact on your business and your revenue for the remainder of the year, and set yourself up for some growth in the direction where you want to take your business next year. 
  
Finish the year strong by putting this strategy into action.
  • [02:22] Today’s agenda
  • [07:18] Check out the IC Business Recession Assessment: ICAssessment.com
  • [09:30] What is the Quick Wins Business Development Strategy?
  • [14:58]  Why you should implement the quick hit business development strategy in your business (3 reasons)
    • Short term: 2022 revenue impact
    • Fill 2023+ Pipeline (be the consultant who’s in the budget)
    • Experiment with a new or adjusted offering
  • [18:42] Why you might be blocking the implementation of the quick hit business development strategy (4 reasons)
    • Not complicated enough
    • Feels too easy
    • Feels like you haven’t earned it yet
    • Fear of rejection
  • [28:50] How to make the quick hit business development strategy successful. To get started ask and answer these 5 high-quality questions:
    • Who are the top 3 clients I’d love to work with (again)?
    • What’s my lowest-hanging fruit?
    • If I needed to make $x right now, how would I do it?
    • What’s something I’ve been wanting to try but have put on the back burner?
    • Why would my ideal client care about ________ right now?
 
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE —
  • Check out the IC Business Recession Assessment: ICAssessment.com
  • Check out the IC Business Predictability Assessment: https://www.ic-scorecard.com 
 
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FULL TRANSCRIPT
 
 
 

**note: This is an automated transcript, so please ignore spelling errors and grammar mistakes*


00:22

Welcome to the podcast. I'm so happy you're here this week; if you are listening in real-time, it is the middle of August. And I am happy to report my kids started back to school this week. The oldest is in middle school for the first time; he just got assigned a viola as His instrument and a locker and learned how to open the locker. I think I had to google it. It's YouTube. It reminds me of how to use a,


00:51

you know one of those. What are the words, the locks with the numbers on them, I


00:56

can't even think of what it's called. So much fun. And then the younger to start it back first and third. So you know what it's like they're starting school and wondering which friends are in their class and which friends aren't and what it's going to be like; it's such a fun time of year; I have to say I thrived this summer, it wasn't just survival mode. Although I know for sure at times, it felt like survival mode might be like that for you, too. There were points at the time in the summer. In fact, next week, you'll hear an interview with one of my clients and a fellow mom. And we were talking about just, you know, kids and work. I think I told her that I felt like a part-time mom because I had the kids in camp all a lot this summer shouldn't give us all space from each other, give them something to, you know, stimulate their brain or their body, whatever the case may be in terms of what the camp was all about. But anyway, I'm not a part-time mom, so it was a little cringe-worthy. I still regret saying that a little bit; you'll hear the whole conversation next week. But I kind of, you know, love my space as well. So I'm happy they're back at school. And we're in a routine. And you know, just a different moving into the fall. So whether you're starting back to school or just wrapping up this summer, and hopefully, hopefully have had some amazing vacations. Today, I want to talk with you about something that you can be implementing now to really impact the rest of your year. So heavily coming up from air for air, and ready to be thinking about the remainder of the year, q3 q4, and I want to help you with a strategy. So that's what we're talking about today. I'm calling it the quick hit business development strategy. It was incredibly impactful for one of my clients. I know she listens every Saturday, so shout out to her when she's listening. But I want to share this with you as well, to really start thinking about how to make an impact for your business and your revenue for the remainder of the year and really set yourself up for some growth next year in the direction where you want to take your business. So with that, that's what we're talking about today, what I'm calling the quick hits business development strategy. And like I said, this is something that can make all the difference for you between now and the end of this year. And quite frankly, set you up for a very powerful year next year, as you think about that revenue and the types of clients you're lining up, and so on. So I'll tell you what this quick hit strategy is here in a moment. But I just want to share with you the client that really inspired this episode; she and I were working on, you know, her goals for the remainder of the year; she wasn't quite where she wanted to be financially and was worried because typically the lead times for her to sell a new business are a little bit longer, the engagements are longer. And so the payments that come in and the cash flow that comes in or can be spread out over the course of, you know, six months or 12 months. And you may be in the same position where you're thinking, wow, you know, it's almost it's the middle of August or whenever you're listening to this. I've really only got a few more months before the holidays, and it feels like a pretty short window here to generate any impactful revenue for the remainder of this year. And so that's why, as I share this particular strategy with you why it can be so meaningful for you and your business. In fact, this particular client really took this coat, you know, the coaching that we did a couple of weeks ago, we came up with this strategy for her business. And she was able really to hit the ground running and fill up her pipeline with this strategy fairly, very quickly, very quickly. So that's what I want to share with you today. So that it can also make an impact on you in your business. All right, let's make this year there's no reason to write off this year we've got so got a lot of time, even if your sales cycles are longer, even if your time to cash flow, you know, and collecting receivables for my client is a little bit longer. Let's put the strategy in place so that you're not waiting on those types of things to bring more money into your business. So today, we're going to focus on four things. Here's our agenda. We're going to talk about the this what is this quick hit strategy that I've been teasing here a little bit. I'll tell you exactly what it is very succinctly; then, I'll talk with you about why implement this in your business. What are the advantages, even if you're not trying to fill a revenue gap or kind of push through some more revenue in a more urgent way? Right now, it can; this is a very important strategy that you can add to your tool belt that will help you to set yourself up for even next year as we start looking ahead.


06:31

And then the third thing we're going to talk about is why you might not; what I'm going to tell you is a great, powerful strategy, but it's not earth-shattering; you've probably thought about it or even implemented it at different times in the past in your business, or even when you were incorporated in some form or fashion. So this isn't revolutionary by any means. But so, from that perspective, you've probably thought about this before and just haven't thought about it recently or haven't even it hasn't even crossed your mind that it might be something important to consider. And so I want to talk with you about why you might be kind of blocking it from, from implementing or coming naturally to you. Because that part is incredibly important, like digging under the covers about why might you not have already been putting this into practice, so that you're aware of that, and then ultimately can move forward. If you don't, if we don't touch on that, then you're going to be spinning your wheels. And then the last thing that I'll share with you today is how to make this strategy successful. So those are the four things we're going to cover. This one should hopefully be a quick hit podcast as well, too. That's my goal. Okay, so before we start, if you haven't done it already, go fill out and take the ic assessments I've created for you. I've got two of them, the independent consultant business recession assessments and the independent consultants business scaling assessment, a bit getting such great feedback about how clear and crisp the questions are to help you hone in on these two critical aspects of your business planning for the recession; we may already be in the recession. So this is a perfect time to be doing this. Go look at and assess your business as it relates to these four key areas that I've defined for you in your business, and make sure that it's shored up from a recession perspective. And quite frankly, you're turning the recession into an advantage for you versus an obstacle. And the second one is the scaling assessment. That scaling does not mean you have to build a huge team or you need to create a complicated business. You may want to build a larger agency type of model, or you may not. But in either case, the ability to scale relies on five important pillars in your business. And I walk you through each of those in just 2626 Quick, quick questions as though that was hard to say 26 quick-hitting questions. And then it'll give you a prioritized plan so that you're able to scale your business. And by that, I mean you're growing your business by way of revenue, by way of profit, by way of impact. And you're able to do it more simply in a way that's easy for you to deliver. So I want to ensure that you've got that plan. So you can go to IC scorecard.com and take that scaling assessment. Okay, my friend. Now that we've got that underway and you have it on your to-do list, go take those assessments so that you've got some more clarity around your business. Let's dive into this quick business development strategy that I shared that I, that I told you about, that we're going to talk about today. Simply put, the quick-hit business development strategy is taking on short-term engagements that have a shorter sales cycle and immediate revenue impact. Let me say that definition again; the quick hit Business Development Strategy is a strategy that you add to your business where you're selling short-term engagements that have a shorter sales cycle and immediate revenue impact. So some examples of what a quick hit might be.


10:49

It could be executive coaching in your discipline, like, let's say that you are an HR consultant, you could offer you're talking with HR executives all day long, you could offer executive coaching to their organization, as an additional offering and extension to what you're already doing. It's so my; I can tell you because I do this a lot. Selling executive coaching to corporate, those types of engagements are incredibly quick turnaround. And you can charge upfront in full for that type of business. And it's really fun to be able to work with, I'll tell you from experience, it's so much fun, working one on one with people and helping them impact their daily life impact their career trajectory, impact to the results that they're seeing. And ultimately, it's a waterfall effect right there. It's also impacting their teams. So this is something that can be incredibly easy from a quick-hit strategy perspective. Another example of a quick hit strategy perspective is going back through your past client roster and seeing, you know, who I have worked with in the past. Haven't worked with them in a while? Do they propose some type of a touch-up or a refresher? For example, you might be a six sigma type consultant, and you worked with clients and got their processes, you know, really dialed in. And I guarantee once you walked away, there's probably some bastardization going on in terms of what they had intended to be doing versus the actual practice. And so you go back and help them with a proposing a touch-up figuring out, okay, let me come in and do a quick hit assessment and figure out where things are working really well, let's build upon that, where things might not be working the way you intended. And let's, let's identify those. So the problem doesn't get


12:55

bigger doesn't grow. So that's a great


12:59

example of a quick hit business development strategy. Another example would be proposing a follow on a project with former clients. So you may have done work for a client in the past, created a strategy for them perhaps and, and it's on the shelf, it's on the shelf, it happens, happens where we create some an amazing strategy, and then it gets deferred or delayed. And so you helping them come in and get that off the ground. Again, an example of a follow on a project can be incredibly valuable. Another example might be facilitating one or two-day strategy sessions, such as planning for the next year. You know, I know it's only August if you're listening to this in real-time. But quite frankly, most companies start pulling, and I won't say most; some more discipline companies start planning now for next year. They start budgeting now for next year. They start thinking ahead now for next year because of how many cycles it takes to get everyone on the same page, right? And so you go in and either help them to facilitate what they're already doing if they're more disciplined, or you going in and saying, You know what, I know that you defer this every year and really regret it when it becomes December or January, and you realize, another year has gone by, and you don't have the plans that you wanted to have in place. Let me help you walk through a process and a framework to get you to exactly where you want to be. So you're ahead of the game and are leveraging these valuable resources that you've got in the most effective way? Similarly, because we are, you know, toward the latter middle part of the year, you could have been offering them mid-year reviews or assessments, workshops, or facilitated sessions to really look at where we are at right now relative to our goals and What can we be doing, we bring your clients to make an impact for the rest of the year, just like I'm saying to you right now, on this podcast, here's how you, here's a strategy you can put in place to impact the rest of the year and set yourself up for success for next year, you could be offering the same type of thing in the form of an assessment or in the form of a workshop or in the form of a, a review of some kind to your clients, your corporate clients in order for them to make sure that they're hitting all of the goals that they had set forth at, you know, at the beginning of this year. So those are that is what the quick win. Strategy is the quick hit strategy and several examples for you to make it tangible. So hopefully, I've got your brain running here thinking about ways you can implement this strategy. So again, why is that? What is the benefit of this strategy for you? Hopefully, it's already very clear. But I also want to just be very explicit that not only there's really three main impacts to you implementing this strategy, but it will also have an impact on your 2022 revenue for sure, especially if you get started now. So that's great news, right? More revenue this year, and highly profitable revenue, because your sales cycle is short. It's these are typically very simple engagements. So your costs attached to them should be very negligible. So it's highly profitable revenue as well. And then, the other thing that this benefits you in is that it this is a method, even if you don't, even if a given client doesn't proceed forward with the particular engagement, you might be proposing to them, you've already got those conversations started for next year, they may want something more, you know, more involvement from you. But you talking about this now, and implementing these quick hits, can help you to get more line of sight into your 2023 pipeline. So if you're listening to this in the real-time, next year is 2023. If this is in the future, let's consider it for next year and what your pipeline looks like; this is a great way to get that pipeline filled up for next year.


17:31

And also, make yourself some revenue impact for the remainder of this year. Think about it: if you start having these more strategic conversations now, help your potential clients plan for next year, budget for next year, and set strategy for next year. When they go to the budget, all of the costs and investments they want to make for next year, you are the consultant who set themselves up to be in that budget. That's a great place to be. You want to be the consultant who's in the budget. So that's another great outcome of this strategy is not only the quick hits, potentially for your revenue but also us starting that dialogue early and essentially writing yourself into their budget. And then thirdly, this is also really important. This type of strategy, this quick-hit strategy, gives you the opportunity to experiment with something new, something that may be slightly different than what you've been offering thus far. So, for example, you might want to be experimenting with adding retainers into your business or some form of advisory services; this is a great way to do that. Where you just say, Look, I'm gonna, I'm, you know, I've got two slots, I've got two spots for retainer work, and really going out to fill those up between, you know, for now, from now to the end of the year, and experimenting with do you like doing that type of retainer work? What types of challenges come up with that kind of retainer work? What about it is amazing and just really experimenting with it? Versus feeling like, oh, no, you know, I'm gonna have to shift my business model completely or make it much more serious. This is a great way to say; you know what; this is just a quick hit. And so I'm going to experiment with it. And I'm not like locking myself down forever. So those are some that are more of an intangible benefit but can be incredibly powerful for you as your business model hopefully continues to evolve and improve and align to what it is you want to be doing and the way you want to be doing it with the types of clients you want to be working with. So that's an incredibly helpful outcome as well. Okay, so now let's talk about why haven't you already. As I said, I'm not giving you some revolutionary idea here to get some quick wins or a quick hit here, right? I'm not this is not revolutionary. But a lot of times when I was explaining that that particular client that I was working with who inspired this episode, and other clients that I've talked about with the this with them, it's just kind of like a little bit of amnesia, oh, that's sort of such a great idea. I haven't thought about doing that in a while, or that just didn't cross; I know for sure to do this, or I would probably tell my clients to do this. It just hasn't crossed my mind about my own business. That happens to us so often; as independent consultants, the cobbler has no shoes, right? Cobblers, children have no shoes. So you would probably be recommending this same thing to your clients. So if it isn't a revolutionary idea, and I'm reminding you of something you're probably saying, I already know. I already know how to do this; I'm just not doing it; then, why haven't you done it? Either ever or recently. Or maybe it's even on your radar, and you haven't done it yet. So the four main reasons why I find clients haven't done this yet, that I wanted to share with you today. So that you're aware of what might be blocking your kind of under the covers, what might be holding you back from putting this type of thing in place. Because the awareness is so important to know, that's what's holding me back; that will be able to be aware and then release that helps you to move forward. So here are the four main reasons I often find that hold consultant back from implementing that quick win type strategy, a quick hitch type strategy, whatever you want to call it. The first of those four is that the things we were just talking about are easy.


22:03

They can be incredibly easy and simple. However, you want to look at them. And a lot of times, as consultants, as independent consulting business owners, we value complicated things. We value things that are complex. Sometimes we think our reputation is attached to how to value how complicated or complex something is. So when we do something easy or pursue a strategy that's easy, somehow we equate it in our mind to it's less valuable or reputationally damaging because it's not as complicated as other things. So just be aware of you're doing that, and discounting or writing off that type of quick wins strategy, because you under the covers, you think that it's not as valuable, let me just tell you the money in your bank account, and you know, the value of your pipeline. And the fun you may be having when you're doing something more nimble and easy for you to deliver, where it does not just weigh down on your energy all the time. Those are very valuable. complex and complicated are not always valuable. They could be the very opposite of value depending on where you're at with your business. So the first thing that might be holding you back here is thinking subconsciously that it's too easy and, therefore, not as valuable. The second of the four most common reasons you might not have implemented this type of quick hit or quick wins strategy is that you almost feel like it's cheating. It's like, Oh, I could go sell. I've talked to clients about this before. They're like, well, I could go sell this, you know, one-day Strategy Workshop all day long. But I'm doing this other thing instead. Well, why aren't you selling the one-day strategy, and then as we pull back the onion, it feels like it's cheating there? It should be harder, right? kind of fight kind of an offshoot of us. valuably valuing the complex in the complicated. A lot of times, when we think this thing is wrong like it should be harder. It should be more complex; it should be with more calm, you know, complicated clients. And there's some quote-unquote right way to sell the business that you offer. You end up just counting out this type of quick win without ever even really complicating calm contemplating it. So if it feels like kind of cheating to you, and you're trying to do things the right way, by having, you know, a four-month or six-month sales cycle, this is such an important thing to take a step back and say, You know what, there is no, quote-unquote, right way, the best way is how do I get in front of clients who want to work with me who I love solving problems for. And even if it's only one day or a week to do an engagement, that can be right, quote, unquote, right, and you're not cheating on your business. It's kind of like your regular offering. What you do, most of the time, for most of your clients, you don't want to quote-unquote, cheat on it, and offer this service that might not necessarily follow all the rules you've created for yourself. So that's the second reason why I find a lot of times consultants don't go down this. This very obvious path that it's, in some ways, feels like cheating. You make it harder for yourself to jump through all these hoops when it could be incredibly simple. The third reason I often find consultant consulting business owners don't implement a quick hitch strategy is that we have some idea of these prerequisites we need to accomplish first. So some ideas; like let me give you an example. You may be saying to yourself; I want to get to retainer-based work, advisory type work, or even the executive coaching I mentioned. But somehow in your mind, you feel like you haven't earned the right to do that yet. I don't know what the


26:42

rules might be that you've created in your mind; it could be things like, you know, I don't have enough of these regular projects under my belt, or I haven't been a consultant long enough, or I haven't run my own business for long enough. Or I should do this type of engagement first, multiple times before I do that type of engagement. Ask yourself what are these unstated rules or prerequisites that you've created for yourself that aren't even true.


27:09

You could go do executive, you


27:11

may not have had a coaching curriculum, or you might not have a coaching program, for example. Still, you could go do executive coaching, because you've done you've been someone who worked in the discipline, for instance, that this that you're helping others with, you've had real-life experience, you might be in a situation where for some reason, you don't feel like you're able to facilitate a room of C level decision makers. And so, therefore, you wouldn't propose a Strategy Workshop. But when you pull back the layers, we realize you've done that so many times in the past in different ways. Whether you were working in your own business or in corporate, it's these ideas of these unstated rules or prerequisites of rules, you've given yourself that we've got to really be able to question and figure out, why are you putting that kind of structure in place for yourself, holding yourself back as a result of it, tear those down, dismantle those types of rules you've given yourself, because, quite honestly, 99 times out of 100, those rules are simply in place to protect you from doing things that are uncomfortable, that you're fully capable of doing and being successful at. They're just a little bit scary. And so we put all these other kinds of fake rules in place because we just try to keep ourselves out of that fear zone, right? So that's the third reason why you might not have done this yet. This is like a quick wins strategy. And then finally, it all comes down to this always does in some way. Fear of rejection, why haven't you done this yet? It's probably something new. Quick way, a quick win strategy. You probably haven't done it in the former fashion I'm offering to you today. And so it's something new, you might someone might say no to you. They're gonna say no to you anyway. You're you getting to know, or you getting ghosted or you getting maybe later, or people not even responding to you at all. That happens; you're a business owner. If that's not happening to you, I submit that you've got a problem. If you're out there, landing every deal you know, have an incredibly high close rate, for example, then I think it's very likely I'll say it that way. It's very likely you're not pushing yourself far enough. Perhaps your rates aren't high enough to be commensurate with the value you're delivering. You're not going after those more complicated projects. So fear of rejection so often comes into play in our business because we're, in our mind, we think we're selling ourselves, we're selling a result or an outcome to a client, but don't know it; we attach ourselves to it. And it's scary, and it feels bad. But that's no reason to just avoid it. So for you, ask yourself why I know that a quick hit plan is impactful for my business; why haven't I done it yet? You may say to yourself; I would advise my clients to do something like this; why haven't I done it for my own business yet? And, undercover, the true reason that might be holding you back so that you have that level of awareness and then can apply the most effective tool to get yourself out of that particular blocker? All right, so let's wrap up today by talking about how to implement this quick-hit strategy for your business. The first step is to be aware of those mental blockers, what might be holding you back, so that you can at least open up the possibility for yourself that this strategy could be effective. I acknowledge, okay, I might be afraid or not think I'm quite ready yet. But I'm going to move forward and pursue this anyway. And when you get to that state, then stop and ask and answer some high-quality business owner questions. So I'll give you five of those to get started with. Who are the top three clients you would love to work with in some form or fashion? And it could be former clients, brand new clients, or a combination of both. Who would those? Who would those clients be? Who do you know what that client at those


32:00

potential clients? And what might the most immediate highest impact problem they could be facing right now be? That's number one; get yourself that top three list. Number two, what's my lowest hanging fruit here? In my business? A lot of times when I ask this question, it just unlocks for the business owner. Oh, I completely forgot about that one conversation I had two months ago, I should go pick that back up again with potential clients, or I haven't, you know, pursuing a client who said Not right now. And just revisited with that, what that individual or I have these amazing people in my network. And I haven't talked to them lately. If I picked up the phone, they would most likely have some kind of work they would encourage me to pursue. Introduce me to pursue whatever the case may be. So that's the second question, what's my lowest hanging fruit? Third question. If I needed to make X number of dollars, right now, let's just say it was 50k. If I needed to make 50k Right now, how would I do it? Put some pressure on yourself if I needed to make 50k right now. Or else XYZ would happen? How would I do that? Sometimes when you put that type of urgency on yourself, it unlocks really good ideas that might not have come otherwise. What's the fourth question? What's something I've been wanting to try but have put on the back burner that speaks to, you know, experimenting with other offerings that you might have been thinking about but just haven't pulled the trigger on? Go figure out what those might be and decide that you're permitting yourself to pursue them now. And then fifth, why would my ideal care about why would fifth question, Why would my ideal client care about fill in the blank right now? Why would my next ideal client care about planning for next year right now? Why would my next ideal client care about, you know, taking a mid-year assessment and planning type session right now? Why would my ideal client care about executive coaching right now? Whatever the case may be of what you're offering, why would my ideal client care about a process? Six Sigma process review right now? Ask yourself that question and put it into context around this timing, where we're at in the year. And when you get the answers to these six, these five questions, you'll start unlocking the strategy for yourself about where you could find these quick wins. All right. So that's what I have for you today. I really encourage you, Um, as we talked about at the beginning of this call to go take that scalability assessment at IC assessment.com. And also, if you're interested in learning more about what it's like to work with a private coach, me as your private coach, as a business so that you can really transform from a consultant into a consulting business owner and have to improve your profitability, increase your revenue, increase the impact and just have more joy and energy and fulfillment in your business. Reach out to me. I would love to talk with you and see if it's a good fit. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. The point of the call is to figure out for both of us if this would be the next step for the best step for you in your business. So you can find my calendar at consultmelisa.com. My name is spelled Melisa one s. So consultmelisa.com. I appreciate you turning tuning in today, and I look forward to seeing you again next week. Take care.

 

 

 

 

 

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