🎙️Show Notes for Episode 084 of the IC Podcast

Oct 20, 2022
 
 
Welcome to the second of a 2-part series on what to do when your consulting business is slow.
 
Hopefully, you have recovered from the shock of learning that YOU created the slow cycle in your consulting business and you are now ready to turn this around and get back to a robust pipeline.
 
To recap last week's EP. 083 Why Your Consulting Business Is Slow, the four foundational causes of your pipeline being unhealthy. It breaks down into four belief systems:
1. Thoughts about you
2. Thoughts about your potential clients
3. Thoughts about consulting
4. Thoughts about the lead generation process
In episode 84, I dive into a 4-Part Solution to help you regain momentum toward a successful independent consulting business. I will discuss the
  • 4 detailed examples of the 4 root causes & how to redirect
  • 4 root causes of the pipeline slowness
 Whether your business is currently slow or growing, I highly encourage you to listen to this episode as well as EP. 083 Why Your Consulting Business Is Slow. The solutions that I will share will help you preemptively prepare for potential challenges. 
 
Key points in this episode
  • [00:28] Recap of EP. 083 Why Your Consulting Business Is Slow
  • [06:36] What to expect in today's episode
  • [08:16] Check out the guide Filling Your Consulting Pipeline in 26 Minutes a Day
  •  https://www.melisaliberman.com/ram
  • [09:08] 4 detailed examples of the root cause of your business slowness + how to redirect
    • [10:25] The thoughts about you
    • [14:34] The thoughts about your potential clients
    • [17:05] The thoughts about consulting
    • [21:23] The thoughts about your offering
  • [25:45] The 4-Part Solution
    • [27:53] Recognize what you're thinking by default
    • [28:14] Reprogram what you're thinking 
    • [28:24] Redirect and Recommit the new way of thinking 
    • [30:13] Reinforce by repeating the new way of thinking until that's second nature
 
FOR MORE RESOURCES SPECIFIC TO THE INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT —
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  2. Check out my YouTube Podcast Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUrsHqeAFDkcI8Kqc4QssEQ
  3. LinkedIn 
  4. Website 
 
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FULL TRANSCRIPT
 

EP 084 Slow Cycle In Your Consulting Business: The 4-Part Solution

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


01:56

Welcome to the podcast and episode 84. I can't wait to dive in with you today on a continuation of what we were talking about last week,


02:07

what happens when you hit a slow cycle in your consulting business? So last week, I shared with you why you're hitting a slow cycle in your consulting business. If you haven't yet listened to that episode, no problem. I'm gonna give you the cliff notes here in a second. But go back and listen to it after you finish this one. So let's continue forward; I'll give you the Cliff Notes. And then you can always go back if you need to. But today's focus is when you hit a slow cycle in your consulting business, what should you do about it? And it builds upon what I shared with you last week, which is why is your business slow? What is the root cause of your business being slow? So this is the Cliff Notes of episode 83. Essentially, what I shared with you in Episode 83, is that the reason your business is slow is that you have an unhealthy pipeline. By pipeline, I mean the end-to-end process from prospecting and finding new opera to uncovering new opportunities or attracting new opportunities and moving them through the sales cycle steps that you've established in your business to the point where they either say, raise their hand and say, yes, let's move forward and sign a contract, or where they opt out and say no, this is not what I am not going forward. That's the pipeline I'm talking about. So the reason why your business is slow right now, if it is, a lot of you are killing it at the moment. So it doesn't have to be slow. But a lot. The reason it is slow, is that you have an unhealthy pipeline. It is not the economy. I know it is not the economy because I talked to so many of your peers on a daily basis. And they're doing so well. Their pipeline is thriving. It is not the economy it is the health of your pipeline. And what I shared with you last week, the health of your pipeline is a direct reflection of the way you're thinking about four main pillars in your business, foundational, foundational elements. The health of your pipeline is a direct reflection of the way you're thinking about four elements in your business. That's important. So I wanted to say it a few times. And the four elements are How much do you believe in yourself? How confident are you in yourself? How unwavering Are you in yourself as a business owner as an adult As a salesperson, and as a person who generates leads, what level of unwavering confidence do you have in yourself in your ability to create leads, that's number one, your thoughts about yourself and your belief system about yourself? Number two, the health of your pipeline is a direct reflection on the quality of the thoughts you have about your potential clients and what they think of you. So if you are rock solid, that your potential and ideal clients want to work with you, they want to pay you, they want to partner with you, they just want to be able to find you to do that, then that is an example of of a foundational belief system that leads to a healthy pipeline. If you think things like the potential clients probably don't want to work with me, maybe we can get far enough down the path that you know that they decide; it might be a good idea if you're wavering about what your potential client thinks of you, that directly contributes to an unhealthy pipeline. The third element the thoughts you have about what you do; if you have an unwavering belief and confidence in what you do, what you deliver, and quite frankly, in your ability to sell what you


06:46

deliver, you will, can those, that's the foundation of a healthy pipeline if you are thinking things like, you know, I'm not 100% sure what I'm doing, or I'm probably not an expert enough. And I can tell you, you're not alone. In this I talk with PhDs, I talk with people with the most incredible resumes, you know, work histories and, and have worked for the most well-known names in our worlds. And they still question whether or not they have what it takes to be successful. Whether they have what it takes and they're the right person for the job versus someone else, those slivers of self-doubt. So the ability to develop unwavering confidence in yourself is another foundational piece of you having a healthy pipeline. And the fourth element is you creating an unwavering belief system that whatever lead generation process you're following, whether it be speaking, writing, networking, or running round tables, whatever it is, that vehicle will lead to results for you that it will work. Having an unwavering belief that it will work is incredibly important as a foundation to you creating a healthy pipeline. So that is the cliff notes of what I shared yesterday. Today, I want to walk you through the process to build and strengthen that healthy foundation, those four parts that we were just talking about. And I'm going to give you four steps to do this. So it's kind of like a four by four, four by four, four types or categories of thought processes and belief systems that you need to continue to purposefully build and strengthen and replenish when they waver because they will waver. We're not creating something that we're you're a robot, you are a human. And there are going to be times when you waver, so you've got to be able to have a process or a framework for you to redirect and re-build that competence. So the four-by-four solution that I'm sharing with you today to help you overcome this slow cycle are working on are four steps that you can use to strengthen and build and replenish the confidence that you have in an in a way unwavering belief that you have in those four key pillars that I just went over. So that's what I'm going to go through today. So first, we're going to talk about the four. I'm going to give you four really detailed examples of how you switch from feeling Wait, you know where you're wavering or where you aren't certain that what you're doing is going to work or that you're capable of making it work and how to shift to that into a mental model that is, that creates a generates that confidence. And then we'll pull it together with a four-step process that you can use to continuously cultivate and maintain this level of competence. So that's a four by four; he just says a reminder of, as I reminded you last week, or let you know about last week, I have created a standard operating procedure for you to use. It's called fill your pipeline with ideal consulting clients in 26 minutes per day, it's literally a standard operating procedure of what you can be doing to fill your consulting pipeline and how to use your time most efficiently. So be sure to go download that it's a great companion to today's podcast; it's at Melisaliberman.com/RAM, Ram. Those are the acronyms of the process. So be sure to go download that while we're talking here. And it'll be a great companion to go along with


11:06

this episode. Okay, so with that, let's dive in. What I want to do first is walk you through each of those four pillars, those four foundational belief systems that you want to consistently be strengthening, so that you get into the headspace of someone who is a successful business development executive for you and your business. I'm telling you, I work with sales executives and marketing executives, and I see how their thought processes work. And I'm sharing with you today some of the behind the scenes about how they would be thinking about these four quadrants and how you can leverage this type of thought process to really as a shortcut for you getting into a headspace that then from which you have a solid foundation and can operate whatever lead generation process, whatever prospecting process, that whatever business development process that you have, in a very effective, results-oriented manner. So you could take that RAM method I just told you about, layer it on top of these four key components, and have a strong system for yourself. So with that, let's start with number one. Number one is the thoughts about you. So you've got to be aware of your default thinking, your default thinking about you. And if you're like most consultants, sales and marketing are not your, you know, your first love for us put it that way, it's not your first love. So we kind of get to the place, though, where you are thinking about it differently. Because right now, you might be thinking things like, I've never been good at this. I don't know what I'm doing. And as a result of that type of thinking, and I want to be clear, those are thoughts you're having. They are not facts. If you and I sat down for a conversation, and I asked you, on average, it takes three or four questions, we would find areas where you have been good at this. So when you think I've never been good at this, and you think that that is a fact from which you're operating your business, you are sending yourself down a very long, hard, dusty road. So the first thing you want to be doing is figuring out what is that default thinking; it might be something like, I've never been good at this. And it makes you feel frustrated. And so no matter what you decide to do from a lead generation perspective, or pipeline, the health of a pipeline perspective, you're constantly second guessing yourself from the thought I've never been good at this. And ultimately, the result that you get is that you don't get better at this. You don't give yourself credit for what you do know and what you are good at with respect to sales and marketing. And you certainly don't get better when you're living in that mental model of I've never been good at this. If we contrast that with creating that's our default way of thinking or an example. If we contrast that with replacing it with what's what we call intentional thinking, an intentional mental model, something along the lines of, I can figure this out step by step could be the thought process or the belief you have about yourself that can create an emotional state of curiosity or commitment. You would much rather be running your lead generation process from the emotional state of curiosity and commitment versus frustration, you're going to get much higher quality results if you're running from curious and committed. And the way that you do that is that you think differently about yourself; you don't think I've never been good at this. You think I can figure this out step by step? And when you, when you think I can figure this out, step by step, it makes you feel committed. And then you start applying the scientific method. For example, making a hypothesis that this is what I think is going to work for me in my business, and you go to work implementing it. And then you test it against what your expected results were, and you adjust if you need to.


15:45

And your result is that you do figure it out step by step because you've created that emotional state of commitment. So that's the first pillar here, the thoughts you have about yourself, the belief system that you have about yourself, you've got to get to the place where you've upgraded that in order to create a stronger foundation from which you can generate and healthy pipeline. Let me just pause before I move on to the second one; the way I just described that might sound like a lengthy process, but it does not have to be a lengthy process. It can be a very fast process. It requires some repetition. But it doesn't have to be an arduous process. In the end, I'll share with you these four steps that you can take to repeat to create and then repeatedly reinforce what we're talking about. So that you're shifting your self-identity from I'm someone who's bad at selling, I'm someone who was bad at lead generation, into someone who figures out anything I need to be doing in my business step by step. Okay. So now let's move on to the seconds. The second pillar here, the second belief system, is that that's part of the foundation upon which you want to create your healthy pipeline. And that's your thoughts about your prospects, your thoughts about your prospective customers. Oftentimes, I find with independent consultants, the default thinking is something to the Align of they, they probably don't want my help, or they probably don't need help, right now, I don't want to help them kind of invent a project, I want to work with someone who you know, a company who knows what they need and have buy-in. So when you're operating from a default thinking, which is they probably don't want my help, but I'll approach it anyway. You're coming at it from a tentative, you know, think about that, if you think the sentence to yourself, I'm going to have this meeting with a potential client, they probably don't want my help, but I'll just do it anyway. You're dismissive as you go into this meeting. You might have even a little bit of fear as you go into this meeting when you think about it that way. And so you end up going into the meeting, going through the motions and checking the boxes and expecting that it won't work. And ultimately, you'll never get to the point in the conversation where you find out whether they need help or not because you've decided on your own that they didn't, they probably don't need help. And you'll just kind of see what happens, right? Check the box. That's not what we want to run our healthy business development pipeline development process off of, we want to switch that into something that's more intentional, as a belief system such as it's possible, they want my help, again, shifting the thought from, they probably don't want my help, but I'll do you know, I'll do this anyway, too. It's possible they want my help. You can see how that goes from resistance to curiosity. It's possible they want my help. It makes you feel curious. You get into your consultant mode, you ask a lot of questions. You create a relationship with them, you show them that you know, demonstrate, you know what you're talking about the types of questions you're asking. And ultimately your result is that you're showing up as helpful, and you uncover the help that they need and might be helped that they need from you or directly or indirectly. Do you see the difference in the way you're thinking about? Whatever it is that your processes for generating leads and filling a pipeline? The way you're thinking about those prospective clients makes all the difference. Okay, number three is your belief system about your services and what you do as a consultant. An example here would be again, we want to build unwavering confidence, unwavering belief in


20:00

What we do in our services does mean that there will be occasions where you might take a hit to your competence, of course, there are definitely going to be times where you take a hit to your competence. When I say unwavering, I mean you're in that level of belief about what you do in the value of it most of the time. And when you're not, when something happens, and you have a bad day or a bad week, you have a way to get back into the confidence without needing something externally to come along and get you back into that place where you feel good. You don't, you cannot rely on a new client before you feel confident, and you can't rely on your lead generate your pipeline having 10 prospects in it before you feel like you're good at this; you've got to feel good at this in order to get the clients into the pipeline. So this third pillar, which is the belief system you have about your services and your consulting, if you think something like clients don't want to pay what I charge for what I do, a lot of you think that by defaults, they won't want to pay more, I'm already charging the most I can for what it is that I do. You're going to feel resistant. And when you're feeling resistant, oftentimes you're going to avoid money topics, you're not going to want to talk about budgets, you're not going to want to try to quantify the value, you're going to make assumptions. And from that place your then your result is that you're not going to learn what they will pay for. And you end up operating your business off of assumptions that feel like facts to you. It is not a fact. And I've talked about this on the podcast so many times, in so many different ways. It is not a fact that you've reached the you know the maximum amount that a client would possibly want to pay you. Every time someone tells me that we go through the process, we we try, we increase rates in some form or fashion, whether it's the basis upon value based pricing or hourly rates, whatever the model is, it doesn't matter. And then they end up finding out, you know what that actually worked. Or, you know what, I've been charging x, which I thought was the top of the top, and I found out a colleague was charging to x that. So again, it's not a fact that they won't pay what you charge for what you do, or that your your services aren't worth what that is, you want to shift the default thinking into intentional thinking something like they can find the budget when they want to, you've probably been in that position, you have no more budget left, you're right, you're in corporate, you're running a business unit, there's a bunch of freezes, no one, they say you can't spend any money, if you needed something to hit your yearly objectives. And if you didn't get it, you wouldn't hit them, you found a way to do it. That's the same thing here, your clients and you thinking about your clients that they value, what you do and what you do is valuable. Your belief system about your services, they can find they can find the budget when they want to. That thought process sends you into more of a creative emotional state, then you become a problem solver. You're asking questions, you're proposing solutions, you're kind of riffing with them. And you're not thinking about topics as off limits or anything like that. You're figuring out a way how to get creative, so that your client can have what you think they want, which is what you do, versus assuming they don't want it if it's too expensive. And ultimately, when you're in that zone, you're becoming really good at talking about money and talk finding money finding, finding solution, budgetary solutions, and ultimately figuring out how to sell what it is that you do to ideal clients who really want to buy it. Because you're coming from a belief system that's unwavering that your services and what you do is valuable and clients want to pay for what's valuable. Okay, the fourth root cause is your belief system about let me restate that. The fourth pillar or the fourth foundation of your healthy pipeline is are the thoughts you're having about your chosen lead generation process?


24:46

I use those words very specifically. You should have chosen, designated decided on what lead generation a lead generation process looks for Are you like for you? We're not kind of doing this hat, off the cuff, we're deciding my lead, you know, let's use an example. My lead generation process is all about networking; for example, that could be what you say to yourself, I'm going all in on networking. And that's going to be the way that I generate leads from my warm network and from my warm network, who introduced me to my cold, or to new people, and from new people that I meet, something like that. And if I need in that eight people in a month, one of those will turn into a client. And that fills all the numbers that I needed to in a healthy pipeline. That would be an example of a lead generation process that you've decided on for your business. If you go about this lead generation process thinking, this probably isn't going to work, or this isn't working, or this won't work, but I'll give it a try. You're going to be frustrated, and you're going to be skeptical. And as a result, when you're in that frame of mind, when you're in that mental model, you're going to second guess yourself, you're going to quickly look for ways to change what you're doing midstream. I've even had clients say, you know, this is a you know, maybe three or four weeks in, when they're just starting to see results. This isn't working pretty much usually off a very few data points, if any, I think I should go back to I should think I've got to go back to corporate for a while. When you're thinking this won't work, you end up second-guessing yourself. Quick Look looking for other four ways to change your approach. And of course, you know this if you if you go halfway through a process, and you just start seeing results, and you change your mind, of course, you're going to lose all your momentum. And ultimately, you won't make it work. Whereas if you're building your healthy pipeline process off of a solid foundation, where you're thinking intentionally about your chosen lead generation process, with high-quality thoughts, like I'm committed to making this method work, I'm committed to making this strategy work. I only need one strategy to work. I can make it work. You feel resolute, for example. And when you're resolute from that emotional state, you're approaching this in much more of a scientific method, you are asking really good questions of yourself. Questions that start with how can I versus questions that start with why isn't this and you're creating emotional states, and a set of actions from that, that lead you to the result where you become the person who commits to something until it works. I can assure you, as I told you, last week I shared with you last week, the strategy is the least important part of this. Networking works for people. So well. Speaking works for people to generate a healthy pipeline. So effectively, hosting quarterly roundtables work. So effectively, I could list off. And I gave you quite a few examples last week of all different types of approaches that work for me from a lead generation perspective. It's not about the strategy. It's about the way you're thinking and the emotional state from which your foundation from which you're executing the strategy that either leads it to wither on the vine or to be wildly successful; because of that unwavering belief that is working, you can make it work. Clients want it to work for them. And what you do works; that's what we're looking for here as the healthy as the foundation for the healthy pipeline that


29:12

you need to build for your business so that it's no longer slow. All right, so let's pull all of this together. We have those four pillars, those four foundational beliefs that we want to be building up and creating as part of our new self-identity as business owner. And when I say new, you might have already been in business for five years. I'm not talking about you as a new business owner. I'm talking about you taking the necessary steps wherever you're at in the trajectory of your business. I think I did this at your like seven so you're probably ahead of me. We're talking about you taking the necessary steps to think about yourself as a successful business owner. Someone who is an unwavering belief in yourself in your abilities, an unwavering belief in your prospective clients and that they want to work with you an unwavering belief in what you have to offer, and an unwavering belief in the way that you generate new business, your business pipeline process, your lead generation process. Okay, so let's pull all of this together. And I've shared with you what those four foundational pillars are, along with some, you know, very detailed examples here. And now what I want to share with you is, okay, Melissa, so you've told me, I need to think this, I use, I've been thinking something like this, and I need to start thinking this and seeing myself in a different light, I need to start thinking of myself as someone who is good at sales. In order to become good at sales, I need to be thinking about myself as someone who's great at generating and prospecting. In order to generate and prospect, I need to think that my lead generation process works in order for it to work. You've told me that, Melissa. Now, how do I actually do that? So I'm going to give you four key areas, and four key steps in order to do what I just described to you. Since like a little mini training for you today. I work with this on my clients almost on a weekly basis. Some are solving other problems in their business, but a lot are working on how do I make my health my pipeline healthier? So I'm giving you a little glimpse into what I do with those clients. The first is recognized, right? What are you thinking about those four foundational areas, that is creating your current results, which is an unhealthy pipeline, in some way your pipeline is unhealthy, otherwise your business or Ruby slow? Recognize what you're thinking that might that is shaky, that doesn't look like unwavering belief, then you want to reprogram it, just like I described to you sort of thinking, I'm not good at this. If you would shift into it's possible that I am good at this. Then you want to redirect and also recommit recommitting as frequently as you can is so key to all to these processes. Redirect and recommit means you're deciding what you're going to do to to create a healthy pipeline. Again, we've done the mental side first, we've strengthened the foundations by recognizing and reprogramming. And from that state of mind, that I'm someone who can figure this out state of mind, we then redirect and recommit. What am I going to what am I focused on in terms of the one or two strategies to restore the pipeline health? For how long of a time period? And for what measurements am I committed to this so that it gives us enough of a chance to work, and I and then I know that I need to evaluate and adjust, I'm not going to change midstream. I'm going to commit to that full time period. So that's the third step. First, you're recognizing what's going on. By default. Then you're reprogramming thinking, putting yourself in that business owner in that business owners, headspace and from that headspace, you're redirecting your recommitting. And this may happen to happen every day until you get it till it becomes not second nature. And then after you've redirected and recommitted, you're reinforcing, you're repeating the new way of thinking, and the new way of seeing yourself until you become that person. By default, until that's second nature, until you think of yourself as you know what I'm just a business owner who, who generates to earn $50,000 in revenue every quarter, just who I am. It doesn't have to be something you're striving for. It's just someone. When you do these steps over and over again, it's someone who you become.


34:14

And then your results just become automatic by default. And then you can start working on the next school. So that is the four by four that I that I promised for you today, where you're looking at those four pillars, those four foundational belief systems upon which you're building a healthy pipeline. And then you're taking these four steps I've just shared with you to continuously find the weak links in your foundation and reprogram them recommit to them, redirect them and reinforce that those strong pillar and foundation that you want to have in order to get the success that you're looking for and to make that success inevitable. So I'll say that one more time. What we're doing here is, is strengthening the foundation of the way you look at yourself as a business owner. By number one, uncovering any cracks anywhere your belief is wavering, and you in those four key areas, and then we're reprogramming that we're choosing attentional thoughts about us as a business owner that are going to get us the results that we're looking for. And then we're redirecting and recommitting to the exact process and results that we want to achieve. And then finally, we're just consistently reinforcing that repeating this new way of thinking until it becomes who we are. Okay, my friends, that's what I've got for you. I hope you've enjoyed these two episodes. They're they're really at the heart of you been able to adjust out of a slow business or avoid a slow business cycle and be able to create a growth business where you don't have this up and down and roller coaster situation that so many consultants have. Thank you for being here. Don't forget to go down that don't don't forget to go download that standard operating procedure at Melissa lieberman.com forward slash RAM so you've got it and then put what I shared with you today on top of it, and there's you'll start seeing results with your healthy pipeline, and ultimately a must a growing business. Take care. See you again next week.

 

 

 

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