Business Consultant Marketing

TOCExpertTOCExpert Posts: 3subscriber
edited July 2006 in Marketing
Any experience advertising consulting services? Most of my clients have been business contacts that I knew or heard of me, but I would like to expand my range. What is the best way to reach owners and managers of other companies? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks for your time.

Comments

  • JeffersonJefferson Posts: 0subscriber
    Sounds like good ol` networking, to me.  Local Chambers of Commerce have all sorts of networking events (mixers).  Trade shows are another good source, whether you go as a vendor or just as a conventioneer.  Most companies have competitors, so you should be able to find companies in the Yellow Pages or Internet catalogs that are similar to your existing clients who probably have similar needs.  You can also offer your current client base a discount, perk, or kickback for any referrals. 
  • JoetheRoadWarriorJoetheRoadWarrior Posts: 2subscriber
    I have found that Word of mouth advertising is by far the best. After successfully working in 54 countries throughout my career, and completing a 6 year Consultant contract in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I returned to the area of my birth (SE Michigan) and joined many of the local Chambers and other traditional networking groups (several as Ambassador of the organization) and found quite a bit of dissatisfaction among organizational members as while they paid dues, most did not see a commercial ROI. After18 months of traditional networking, I have become a member of several local cultural organizations and now, relying on word of mouth I have CEOs "knocking on my door". I also feel that TRIZ can be a source of "enlightenment and progress" in the conventional networking scenarios. I know that many do not agree with me but it is my conviction and I have been successfully helping several local companies to develop and expand in the global marketplace.
    It has worked fo me and there is "Life after Corporate America"!
    Joe the Road Warrior
  • JoetheRoadWarriorJoetheRoadWarrior Posts: 2subscriber
    TRIZ (pronounced TREEZ) is a Russian acronym for the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving literally "Teoriya Resheniya Izobretatelskikh Zadatch". It is an algorithmic approach to solving defined problems using principles and contradictions. The world HQ for TRIZ Studies is the Altschuller Institute www.aitriz.org</A>.
    A short anecdotal story. In late 2004, I was networking and speaking about the global marketplace and there were two Russians speaking about TRIZ and then a well-known individual in SE Michigan thought it would be good for the three of us to get together and "chat" as no one here knew what we were speaking about. After three days meeting (at least 8 hours per day) the "proverbial light bulb" lit up over my head and I finally and fully understood what they were speaking about. It turns out that I have been using TRIZ Principles for the better part of my career - just different terminology!
    A few month later, in April 2005, I was invited as a Presenter at the 7th International Conference on TRIZ Studies in Brighton, MI and my paper was published in the International TRIZ Journal in July, 2005. www.triz-journal.com</A> I am also a member of the Altschuller Institute in MA.
    The three of us have put together a plan entitled: "Restoring Pride, Confidence and Focus in American Business: A Visualization Approach". We are looking for an appropriate forum to introduce this concept and I have no doubt that, in my opinion after showing successful results in networking, many of the traditional networking organizations will go asunder or will adapt.
    Hope the brief explanation and idea of TRIZ interests you. It is well known in Eastern Europe and I found applications when I was a member of the Michigan Civic Leaders Tour in 2004 traveling to Bosnia and Latvia.
    Just a thought. I will visit your website as the study of foreign languages is one of my hobbies. I have a basic knowledge of Chinese (Mandarin), Arabic, Korean (fluent in reading/writing Hangul script), Russian and German (Ich spreche und lese auf Deutsch sehr gut) and as I say, a "smidgeon" of English.
    I will get off my soap box now. Have a great day....Joe the Road Warrior
  • admanadman Posts: 3subscriber
    It`s ironic that marketing and advertising companies (which is really just a highly specialized consulting company) rarely use advertising to promote their own business while advocating it for their clients.  I read an article somewhere that this is tantamount to advertising and marketing people being liars and thieves.  Of course the person who wrote these words was trying to sell his PR services.  The real reason of course is that Advertising is NOT for everyone or every business.   It of course boils back down to ROI.  The first question a business person should ask themselves regarding any advertising program (advertising being defined as paid promotion).  Can your company  handle the amount of business you`re going to need to yield as a result of your advertisements in order to cover the expense of the ads?.  There is a threshold of how often and how long you need to advertise which if you don`t cross, you`d simply be wasting your money.  The best example of this is a friend of mine who owns a company building decks on homes.  He knew I was in the advertising business and wanted to know if I thought radio would be right for him.  Without going to far into detail about his finances or what the radio station was charging (which was very reasonable given the reach of the station)  we determined that in order to successfully advertise in this medium he would need to an extra 3 decks per week.   Given the reach of the station and the frequency of the ads we all felt, (myself, my friend, and the radio guy) that we could yield enough business from the ads to cover the cost.  BUT since my friend was a one man operation(in other words he was the one doing the work) we did some calculations and he`d have to work 12 hours a day 7 days a week to keep up with it.  Which was not something he wanted to do.  Now.  This leads back to why advertising and marketing people don`t use traditional methods to advertise.  Because of their boutique nature, their custom solutions one client at a time, marketing and advertising companies rarely advertise themselves not because advertising wouldn`t work for them, but because they couldn`t keep up with the volum once it did.
    So back to the question at hand.  What do do.  Networking is always fantastic for B2B sales  especially where the sale leads to a long term relationship where there needs to be a lot of trust.  Advertising and Marketing definitely fall in that category.  Chambers of Commerce are good.  As is BNI (Business Networking International), Small Companies, and Local boards of trade.
    If you do go the route of advertising, you`ll want to stick to highly targeted direct mail.  Not just a letter mind you, but a mailing that gets the undivided attention of your viewer.
  • TOCExpertTOCExpert Posts: 3subscriber
    Thanks a lot adman. I was thinking of direct mail/email to potential clients, but was concerned about being seen as a spammer or bothersome to the very busy people that are my target audience. Dr. Eli Goldratt (the father of the Theory of Constraints) once said " If selling were the  sameas  shooting sitting ducks  while they ate corn by the side of  alake,  then advertising would be the same as spreading  corn  forthe  ducks  to  see and come ashore to eat.  Marketing  would  befiguring  out  that  ducks ate corn, in  the  first  place.   Thequestion  is, "How do we figure out what our targeted ducks  liketo  eat?"
  • admanadman Posts: 3subscriber
    Dr. Eli Goldratt (the father of the Theory of Constraints) once said " If selling were the  same as  shooting sitting ducks  while they ate corn by the side of  a lake,  then advertising would be the same as spreading  corn  for the  ducks  to  see and come ashore to eat.  Marketing  would  be figuring  out  that  ducks ate corn, in  the  first  place.   The question  is, "How do we figure out what our targeted ducks  like to  eat?"
    I absolutley love that analogy.  I`m going to remember it for when explaining things to my clients.
  • tannersoldittannersoldit Posts: 1subscriber
    Hi TOCExpert:
    I agree, your duck analogy is terrific.  Adman and Jefferson are on target with direct mail and networking.  The web is also important.  My questions might be:

    Are you certain of who you target is?
    What do you know about their interests? (Where they go; what they do; when they do it?)
    What companies share your interest in those people?
    Approach those owners about a co-marketing deal and then do a PR blitz to announce the partnership or alliance.
    That`s how you find out what they like to eat. 
    Ciao.
    Ron
  • TOCExpertTOCExpert Posts: 3subscriber
    Great advice from everyone. Thanks so much to this great community! I will hopefully be posting a success story soon, and maybe share some advice as good as I have recieved!
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