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    Brand Your Consulting Brilliance
    Copyright © 2004, Robert Moment

    Today's competitive marketplace for consulting services is no 
    longer responsive to the marketing strategies that worked in 
    the past. The services you provide should speak volumes about 
    your consulting business. Think about what happens when you 
    hear phrases such as "the ultimate driving machine," "don't 
    leave home without it," and "just do it." Chances are good that 
    you can immediately associate them with BMW, American Express, 
    and Nike. These companies have mastered "brand brilliance." 
    Brand your consulting brilliance because the future of your 
    business depends on it.
    
    There's an old adage, "Perception is reality." Simply stated, 
    the perception of a brand lies in its ability to influence a 
    client's behavior. When you have successfully branded your 
    business, in the client's eye there is no service in the 
    marketplace quite like your service.
    
    All consulting businesses should have a distinct, sustainable, 
    and competitive advantage to differentiate their services from 
    the competition. I call this process of identifying your 
    advantage "Brand Your Consulting Brilliance."
    
    
    Here are six simple steps to brand and differentiate your 
    services in the new economy.
    
    1.  Think client focus first.
    
    The client's reality: Consulting businesses exist to serve 
    clients. Develop a client visitation calendar and schedule 
    in-person visits. Look the client in the eye and say, "I am 
    here to serve you." Follow up and follow through on all client 
    related matters in a timely manner. 
    
    Create a client questionnaire so clients can rate the 
    performance of your services. You want them to tell you how 
    you're doing and what you can do to serve them better. It's 
    also a way to discover what challenges they are currently 
    facing. Be relentless in your client retention efforts. 
    
    
    2.  Discover a distinct advantage that will set you apart from 
        competitors. 
    
    Start by articulating your "unique marketing proposition," a 
    statement of all of the qualities and characteristics that set 
    your services apart in the marketplace. Analyze your services: 
    What skills and services do we provide that are distinctive, 
    measurable, and add value? Which of our past successes can we 
    leverage in the marketplace? And don't forget to ask colleagues 
    what they see as your competitive strengths.
    
    Communicate these messages reinforcing your unique marketing 
    proposition anytime you have an opportunity to write or speak 
    about your consulting firm and what you have to offer to 
    prospective clients.
    
    
    3.  Generate publicity.
    
    What others say about your brand is much more powerful and 
    credible than what you can say about it yourself.
    
    When it comes to branding your consulting brilliance, favorable 
    publicity in the media or word of mouth is far superior to 
    advertising. So how do you generate the publicity "buzz"? Create 
    a buzz about your brand by being visible: speaking at seminars, 
    publishing a newsletter on your website, participating as a host
    or guest on television or radio talk shows, writing a column in 
    a reputable trade journal, and networking. 
    
    
    4.  Promote a powerful perception of quality in the client's 
        mind.
    
    What is quality if not a perception that resides in the mind 
    of the client? You build quality intangibles around trust, 
    reliability, excellent people, and innovative client services. 
    Show clients that you can interpret and process their 
    information to convert it to results oriented solutions. What 
    you say is important, but what you do is even more important 
    for reinforcing their perception of your brand quality. 
    
    Keep the lines of communication open. The goal of branding your 
    consulting brilliance is to convince the client that your brand 
    is worth their trust and worth a premium price.
    
    
    5.  Establish your credentials as an industry leader in the 
        field.
    
    Clients like to know they are doing business with an industry 
    leader. Make clients aware of your consulting acumen, presence, 
    and commitment. Know your clients' businesses inside out - what 
    they do, why they do it, how they do it. Tout your firm's 
    successful track record of accomplishment in working with 
    companies like theirs. 
    
    Build and sustain credibility with clients by strengthening your 
    client relationships, developing a client retention strategy, 
    demonstrating that you value your new clients, and going the 
    extra mile for them.
    
    
    6.  Practice consistency in building your consulting brilliance.
    
    Stay focused on implementing the branding of your consulting 
    brilliance. Keep abreast of marketing trends in your profession 
    and position yourself as a recognized expert. Make the most of 
    your unique marketing proposition. Accelerate and elevate the 
    perceived value of your brand in the marketplace.
    
    In short, to brand your consulting brilliance, know what you 
    have to offer, know how to differentiate it, and know how to 
    market it. 
    



    Writer's Resource Box:
    Robert Moment--Author, Business Coach and Strategist--is the 
    Author of best-selling book, "It Only Takes a Moment to Score". 
    Founder of The Moment Group, a Small Business Coaching & 
    Consulting Firm, Robert helps entrepreneurs harness their 
    potential and soar to new heights. 
    Contact mailto:Robert@sellintegrity.com or visit 
    his web site at http://www.sellintegrity.com




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