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Consultants Shine and Business Follows

Everyone likes to share their expertise and knowledge with others. Your consulting team has a depth of knowledge that brings value to your customers every day -- but usually only one at a time. How can you tap into all that knowledge, take it to a larger audience and build business?

The Right Motivation
Your consultants are probably rewarded for maximizing billable time. If you want them to contribute to the business development effort, you have to offer motivation without penalty. It is surprising how often this seemingly obvious point gets missed.

Preparing content, whether writing or speaking, takes time. If you ask your employees to add to their workload without the right motivation, it won't get done. Reward them for all the time that goes into the preparation for content and presentations -- great presentations that the audience remembers.

Rewards can be delivered in many forms. Consider gift cards, comp days off, employee of the month or other creative ways to recognize the extra work or time away from family. The business that you stand to get from the work of the team will pay off in the end.

The Right Place
One size does not fit all. Some of your consultants are probably great writers, most are probably not. Some are great speakers or great networkers, most not. Each of these outlets has merit and the potential to build your reputation in the community. Help your employees match their interests and expertise with connections to your target market.

Shine the Light
Blogs are great vehicles for your writers, but what if you don't have a company blog? You can still make use of written content in the form of articles or reports. Use a Word template to format the document professionally and offer it as a .PDF on your Web site. Even better, include a blurb in your newsletter and provide a link to download the full document.

For those consultants who like to present to groups, check out Microsoft's Community Connections program. This is a terrific way to leverage your relationship with Microsoft to make a positive impression on professional business groups in your area. As a trusted representative of Microsoft, you set the tone for demonstrating your company's expertise.

Networking should always be an integral part of your marketing program. Owners and consultants alike should know and participate in the professional groups that attract your target market buyers. For those who like to network, it's probably fun, but it's still important to place value on the time that they invest.

Give your consultants the opportunity to round out their experience and build confidence. They will appreciate the opportunity to share their knowledge and help build your reputation as the experts.

How are your consultants contributing to business development efforts? Comment below or e-mail me and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on February 08, 2012