Consultants – Broaching the Money Issue When Someone Thinks Maybe You Work For Free (or Cheaply!)

Regardless of whether you are a new or experienced consultant, you may wonder how to broach the subject of money with people who are potential clients – or the ones who somehow think that you will help them for free. Recently, this question was posted on my blog:

When people call me through referrals, I find myself ‘marketing’ to them positively – listening to their needs, their panic, reassuring them etc; sometimes even answering questions, etc. They want me to come immediately (within a day or two). I need a gracious way of saying, “oh, by the way, do you know that I’m the most expensive consultant in town, AND, I’m worth it!” They never actually seem to ask what my fees are-so how do I approach that issue so that they are not caught off guard when I arrive? I do have a one page MOU (memorandum of understanding) for emailing, but I usually use it for longer running contracts. Maybe I should shorten it for this purpose, as well. But, it does seem that a professional should be able to discuss fees, professionally…Any ideas you can share with me, please?
Once someone has expressed his/her need for you, you can say one or more of the following (or some combo):

Should I fax over my consulting agreement or send it by email. You can then print it, sign it and just send it back.
Is it easier for you to pay by check or credit card? If you want to give me your credit card now, I can have that all set up?
What is your budget for this? It helps me to know if you want to me to give you some quick and easy techniques or if you are looking for long-term changes and solutions.
Are you paying for this or will your employer be paying for this? I just need to know how to make out the invoice.
It sounds like you’re in crisis, and I can move some things around to be able to get to you right away, and there’s a special fee for that…so if you want to discuss that, we can. It’s an option I wanted you to know about…
Take these ideas and use them as the are worded or modify them in a way that works with your industry or style. If you are (and I have to believe you are) an outstanding consultant, speaker, or other provider of service, then people need to know they are getting the best…and that you are not cheap. That’s nothing to withhold from them.

And if you want additional ideas for moving your consulting, speaking, or writing business forward, be sure to consult the Life of E’s blog:

Your Management Consultant Lifestyle and Diet Can Result in Healthy Weight Loss

Despite the diet and lifestyle challenges of being a busy and successful Management Consultant, you can still lose weight fast and permanently. Here is a series of simple tips and techniques I used to lose 50lbs while working as a Management Consultant in 2007.

OK, how on earth do I find the time to exercise in this job? If you’re serious about losing weight, some sensible exercise is a must. There are plenty of other benefits too, such as better stress tolerance, improved sleep, enhanced love life and more energy throughout the day. Exercise gets rid of that mentally drained feeling for good.

I keep a folding cycle in the car, together with a high visibility jacket, cycle helmet, gloves and cycle lights. That way, whether at home or not, exercise needs are covered.

The best time to exercise is before breakfast. This energises the body for the day ahead, so set the alarm 30 minutes earlier. This way, you’re getting more out of the day and through exercise, quality of sleep will improve significantly. When you awake at 6.15am, instead of thinking “it’s cold outside” and hitting the snooze button, visualise how great you’re going to look and feel for the rest of the day after getting some gentle exercise.

Find a form of aerobic exercise that works for you and aim to work up a gentle sweat, rather than push yourself hard. Over-exercise can actually cause weight to be held around the middle through the release of cortisol, a stress hormone. Many people make the mistake of exercising hard once a week or so, rather then gently and sensibly, several times a week.

So go on, take my challenge! Set the alarm half an hour earlier for 3 days this week, get into your favourite form of exercise and work up a gentle sweat, then see what an amazing difference it makes to the day and your productivity! If you’ve not exercised for some time, it makes sense to consult the Doctor before starting any new programme of exercise.

How can I handle the challenge of a client lunch and all those nights in hotels?

Try ordering two starters and having one as the main course. The different starters will handle your need for variety and leave that satisfied feeling.

Avoid a full cooked breakfast and try poached eggs on brown toast instead. Go for cereals which have a high fibre content and add low fat or soya milk. The body needs 25g of fibre a day and this step alone would enable most people to lose 10lbs in weight during a year.

Make sure that you drink enough water – a minimum of 2 litres each and every day. It’s water, not other drinks that your body needs at regular intervals. Don’t mistake hunger for thirst; by the time the mouth is dry, your body is already dehydrated. Take it sensibly though, as excess water (more than 4 litres a day) can result in other health challenges. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks are very dehydrating to the body, so for faster weight loss, reduce intake of these.

What about the finger buffet at lunch and all those morning/afternoon snacks?

Go for sandwiches with no mayo and salad items in in your finger buffet diet. Look for, or request some simple salad items (small tomatoes, cucumber pieces and celery are easy to eat with one hand).

Eat a piece of fruit at morning or afternoon breaks, rather than biscuits and cakes. Take your own fruit or some chopped veggies like carrots and celery to work if necessary.

How do I best combat stress?

Acting on the above tips will increase your productivity as a Management Consultant by increasing energy and vitality. Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways of handling stress at source, before it ever becomes a problem.

Alcohol and caffeine may seem like a short term fix for stress, but they contain toxins and minimising consumption is a far better strategy for effective stress management and rapid weight loss. Reducing consumption of toxins means that the body doesn’t have to work hard at eliminating them and can concentrate on the more important task of metabolising away fat instead.

Despite a busy lifestyle, you can do these simple things; so make a start today and make 2009 your best year ever!

High Priced Consulting – 5 Secrets to Multiply Your Consulting

Consulting is becoming one of the fastest growing online businesses today. Typically, a consultant is someone who is extremely knowledgeable on a certain field usually hired by a company or entrepreneurs to help in solving a problem, creating a business plan, or growing the business.

Here’s how you can multiply your high priced consulting:

1. If you want to earn more money from this endeavor, you may do all your trainings over the internet so you can save more time on travel and serve more people in the process. For best results, make sure that you know how the internet works and how you can personally fix minor internet or computer-related problems. Also, know the communication tools that you can use such as instant messaging, email, VoIP, etc. Also get the most reliable internet service provider in your area and make sure that they can offer you with high speed connection.

2. Create a website. Get yourself a on the World Wide Web where you can easily sell your services and yourself. Your website must be able to convince your visitors that you are an expert on your chosen niche and that you can offer them with all information and assistance that they will need in order to reach their goals. Give these people a solid idea about the scope of your services, the amount of money your charge for X hours of consulting, etc. Don’t forget to post your work philosophy, your qualifications and your relevant experiences.

3. Drive traffic to your website. To generate more leads, make sure that your website will appear on the top 10 search page result when relevant searches are being made. You can do this by optimizing your content, building numerous inbound links, and by promoting your website using PPC ads and search engine marketing. The more people giving you a visit the higher your chances of making a sale.

4. Increase your knowledge on your chosen niche. As a consultant, people expect you to know all the things surrounding your chosen field. So, make sure that you keep yourself updated by constantly reading relevant sites and ebooks, attending relevant seminars or symposium, and working together with other experts.

5. Impress your clients. As they say, you reap what you sow. If you strive to offer your customers the best service, they are most likely to come back for more and they might even recommend you to other people that they know.

Do You Need an IT Consultant?

By now, just about every person in business has heard that they can benefit from the implementation of business software. Even something as basic as payroll software can quickly and easily make handling a businesses payroll and payroll accounting so much easier and efficient.

IT Outsourcing

Also, one more new catch phrase that business people are talking about is IT outsourcing or the means by which a business has a source outside of their actual organization manage all of their information technology related affairs.

Making the Best Decisions for Your Business

So, with all of these new changes taking place, it is imperative that unless you are completely familiar with them all that you should at least talk to an IT consultant. At the very minimum, a good IT consultant can help you to decide precisely the best software that you will need for your companies operations.

Help With Customizing Your Software

Also, as far as business related software goes, it is definitely not one size fits all. What this means is that the probabilities are quite high that what ever type of business application software that you finally decide on, it will also have to be customized in some way to specifically fit your needs.

Talk to an Expert

Of course you will also need to be kept abreast of any new software or IT technology developments as they come available and inevitably they will. So unless you are an expert yourself, a qualified IT consultant can easily handle that end for you as well. So in the end, if you plan on exploring new concepts in IT technologies as they pertain to your business, your best first stop would be with an IT consultant.