"What do you do?" You're probably asked this all the time by friends, family members, strangers at cocktail parties, and prospective clients.
What they're really asking you is: "What value would I derive from hiring you?" Do you have a unique and compelling value proposition that defines who you are as a consultant and what your practice is all about? If not, you've come to the right place.
In this ~1-hour course, I'll share with you best practices for discovering and unlocking your value proposition.
1. Market Scanning: It starts with understanding the marketplace, so I'll share with you the techniques I use to scan the market, assess the implications, and make business decisions.
2. From Capabilities to Value: Then, we'll use that market intelligence to answer the question: "What value do your clients derive from your capabilities?"
3. Value Drivers: From there, we'll focus on your value drivers...the unique and compelling ways in which you drive value for your clients. Once you've defined your capabilities, value, and drivers, you've essentially written your value proposition.
4. Operationalizing Your Value Prop: From there, it's a matter of putting your value proposition to work, incorporating it not only into your pricing system but also your sales, marketing, and operations.
To help you get going, you'll watch not only videos and mashups involving me and my best practices but also perspectives from other consultants in the form of interview excerpts. When you buy the course, you'll also be able to download a companion workbook containing the slides and talking points from the course.
So if you're a business consultant and don't have a unique and compelling value proposition for your consulting practice, let's make it happen. Enroll now!
To help you through this process, I've published a workbook that acts as a companion resource for this course. You can download the PDF, save it, print it, and use it to reference slides and talking points as well as capture your own notes. Please do not distribute or in any way reproduce the workbook, or any of the materials provided in this course. Thank you.
Unlocking your business' value is dependent on your having a good understanding of your marketplace and how you fit into that marketplace. In this video, I describe the elements that make up a marketplace.
One of the things that entrepreneurs and business owners do that most other people don't do is actively scan their marketplace to identify opportunities, threats, and changes that will impact their business decisions. In this video, I discuss how you can leverage industry groups as a source for market intelligence.
Continuing with the market scanning theme, this video takes a look at how you can focus your online research to analyze your marketplace and continually provide yourself with market insights.
An extremely valuable source of market intelligence is your network of colleagues. Some may be fellow business consultants, and some may even be competitors. All the better. Smart entrepreneurs regularly meet with colleagues to discuss what is happening in their industry and pick each other's brains for insights.
An often overlooked source of market intelligence is your client base. Our client conversations are often so centered around specific project needs that we fail to have broader conversations about what is happening within their business and within their marketplace.
You sometimes hear the term "informational interview" as it relates to job-seeking, but for a business owner, it means something a little different. It involves actively seeking out individuals and asking them questions about what challenges they're facing, what new developments they're seeing, etc. You aren't trying to get a job...you're an entrepreneur trying to understand where the market is heading, and the more people you talk to, the better able you are to gauge the direction of your marketplace.
In this interview excerpt with Mike Noble, an executive who handles pricing at a large US business consultancy, you hear another perspective on gathering market intelligence.
Here are some tips for how to assess your market intelligence, so you can use it to make business decisions.
Here are some tips for assessing the implications and potential impact of market intelligence on your business, especially pricing.
In this interview excerpt with Gary Stewart, a business consultant and former consulting firm senior executive, you get some valuable advice from someone who has been in the trenches.
Before you proceed, it might be helpful for you to apply what we've discussed so far. Go out and gather some market intelligence to get a sense of where your marketplace is today and where it may be heading over the coming year. While you're at it, start to establish some routines for gathering intelligence on an ongoing basis, such as blocking out time for networking and informational interviews, subscribing to news feeds and blogs that provide a continuous drip of market insight, etc.
What is your value proposition? Most of us don't know. We think our value lies in the services we provide and the capabilities we possess, but that's incorrect. In this video, I introduce the concept of value and provide three tips to help you understand how your value is derived.
If value is in the eye of the beholder, then it's important for you to put yourself in your clients' shoes and assess your business from their perspective. Only then can you really understand and unlock your value.
Now let's look at the mechanics of creating a value proposition. We start with your capabilities and an understanding of the marketplace, then identify what value those capabilities can bring to your clients...in terms of growth, productivity, peace of mind, etc.
Once you've identified the value that your clients derive from your capabilities, identify 1-3 value drivers that describe what is unique and special about the WAY you deliver your services that enables and maximizes your value. If you can't think of anything that you currently do that is special, consider what you COULD do to drive value for the client.
For example, if Game of Thrones delivers entertainment value to TV viewers, how specifically does it do that? Suspense, drama, complex plotlines, deep and interesting characters, willingness to kill off key characters (a la "Red Wedding"), grand scale, authenticity, great scriptwriting, great acting, what? As with GoT, you may have a long list, but try to narrow that list down to the 3 biggest and most compelling value drivers.
In this interview excerpt, Jeff Dorman, a very successful business consultant, shares his perspective on what you can do to drive value.
In this interview excerpt, Belen Bilgic-Schneider, a successful business co-owner of an e-commerce company and a freelance graphic designer in her own right, shares her perspectives on value.
Now it's time to apply what you've learned. Go ahead and write your value proposition.
Answer the questions in this short quiz to gauge how much you've learned so far and to solidify your understanding before you proceed. If you have difficulty answering some of these questions, be sure to review the appropriate videos.
In this video, I recap the key bits from the course. I also encourage you to use your value proposition not only to guide your pricing efforts but also to anchor your consulting practice. If it's a compelling description of how your capabilities add value for clients, then use your value prop as a center point for your entire consulting practice.
With some practice, you should be able to incorporate your value proposition into your 30-second elevator speech, which you'll deliver for networking contacts, family, friends, and prospective clients. Allow your value proposition to define what you and your consulting practice are all about, and you will find your unique voice.
In this Bonus Lecture video, I describe the entire Pricing Your Services curriculum and next steps. Be sure to check out the resources for coupons and links to other Pricing Your Services courses on Udemy.
Gus has run his own talent development consulting practice for over 20 years and has worked with hundreds of client organizations ranging from pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare product companies to brokerage, banks, and insurance companies, from IT startups to long-established telecommunications service providers as well as law firms, retailers, hospital systems, and chemical manufacturers. His proposals have won—and lost—multi-million dollar deals as well as much smaller ones.
He has earned a PhD in Education with a minor in Leadership, an MBA, and a BS in Marketing as well as a Certified Performance Technologist designation. He has taught Masters-level elearning design courses and frequently delivers live and virtual workshops for leaders at all levels. He regularly presents at industry conferences and is a recognized thought leader in the talent development industry. His passion, though, is mentoring colleagues and fellow consultants as they launch and expand their businesses. Over the years, he has counseled hundreds of business consultants and budding entrepreneurs.