Services – Consultants
Transition to the next level: Each of my clients seems to be ready for a significant transition when they begin with me. One master technologist put aside his CEO position in his product company to treble his revenue in two years in consulting. Another sought-after programmer said, “I want to re-launch my practice so that I make more income, but never have to write code again.” One specialist was returning to her successful, but dormant practice after the birth of her third child. A personal coach, needing to become the sole breadwinner for the first time, shifted to corporate consulting and exceeded her previous income in year one.
Use your own personal sounding board (me): Each of us needs a trusted advisor who understands our work deeply and cares about our success. We become empowered by thinking through the choices we must make, and by being reminded of what worked and what didn’t and why – that came before. And sharing the wisdom that comes from our histories of how to consult successfully overcomes much of the isolation inherent in solo practices. I am always surprised when my client forgets to congratulate herself on reaching the C Suite, or when he is discouraged by the attitude of a neglectful client (when he has performed superbly). I am always there to provide the broader perspective gained from more than 25 years as a solo consultant… or sometimes just the Hooray that hasn’t been shouted.
Define your unique value: Key to consulting success is your reputation for being unlike all the other consultants who sound like they can do what you can do. Your unique value is not your methodology, not the features or benefits from working with you – it is the results the client achieves from your involvement with them (which is then value-priced, see below). Writing your own value proposition is perhaps the most difficult assignment (an outsider always finds it easier).
Sound-bite your unique value: Once you have determined your unique value proposition, you must reduce it to the simplest language and phrasing so anyone can understand your value and your differentiation from all the others that may sound like you.
Raise your fees to value pricing: I help you understand how to move from hourly, time & materials, or day fees to value pricing – setting a value on the deliverable of the work, not the time spent achieving it. In most cases this moves you to retainer pricing, or much higher-level project work, and increases your profit margins.
Get paid in advance: If approached correctly, you can negotiate for most or all of your fees in advance of work done and deliverables.
Define your ideal client: Together we will define your ideal client, and give you tools and templates to assess if a new prospect will fit these criteria. This will allow you to quickly know which prospect to pursue and which to politely send away.
Yes, you will send away prospects who will not provide the profit margin and quality work that you need to create high revenue and profitability, and to move you upmarket to the higher quality and higher-paid work.
Position up-market to the C Suite (or to new markets): To bring your expertise to its highest use, you must be consulting to as high a level of executive as possible – not middle-management, but the C suite or its executives. Consulting up-market is achieved by careful positioning, moving up from your usual client level to those executives above. Value pricing comes into play again as you move up.
Persist with and close your prospects into clients: I train you in techniques to keep yourself “top of mind” with your prospects, even when they delay for weeks and months and you cannot close them. These techniques are not pushy, and allow both you and your prospect to “maintain face” during delays. Some tactics recover a project that seems lost when the prospect changes the terms of the proposed engagement, so you can close the deal.
Expand and leverage your referral networks to attract clients: I show you how to develop your referral network (separate from your prospect network, and handled a different way), to teach them to remember your value proposition language and ideal client profile and to keep you “top of mind” for referrals and introductions.
Also, I teach you how to train them to make the most effective introductions for you, and offer tactics in how you engage these new prospects and keep your referral sources in the loop.
Pitch and close prospects (in writing or speaking): There are deliberate steps you can take, when writing or when speaking in public, to make clear that you are available and ready to focus your skills and value on each reader or each audience participant. These are positioning (not sales) tactics that trigger their engagement with you. I teach you these tactics to embed in all your publications and presentations.
Use powerful negotiation strategies to close clients: I train you in strategies and tactics that make your new prospect or current client chase you for your expertise. I train you not to chase them, but only to offer your skills for a value price that will deliver the results they need. This specialized “negative selling” (sometimes known as reverse-selling) is the only way to negotiate and close your clients for the value pricing you can command. My clients are always surprised when these strategies increase their income and margins, and when they silence their prospect’s objections.
Create and grow your passive income: In some instances, you can leverage your network of colleagues, or your expertise in certain products, to create an ongoing passive-revenue stream to add to income and margins. Whenever we can, we will put these tactics to work for you.
Use powerful language (written & spoken): Your success in showing your value, differentiation and expertise are mostly revealed in language and in the attitude in which you use that language. I train you in the phrases and approaches that most reveal your unique value to your prospects and clients.
Grow in personal power: All of the services listed here are personally applied to your individual style, and adapted for the most comfort in your use of them. You will find you grow in personal power through these strategies and tactics, and that the step up to the next level comes from within you, and not from these tools.
Services – Technology CEOs and CTOs
Capital Strategy: I focus on the capital events that drive a business to success: beginning with the targeted exit strategy and potential exit valuation, what capital is best to accept from what kinds of sources, at what valuation, at what time and benchmark, to create and maintain the valuation at each strategic step. I identify alternative kinds of capital available to reduce corporate budget needs or to retain equity.
Entry, Positioning, and Growth Strategy: I determine what ultimate goals the founders or parent companies seek from the venture; what return on investment is planned; what is the validity of the business goals, positioning, revenue models, competitive landscape, distribution channel policy, management talent, valuation and capitalization assumptions; what deal structures can be designed to close strategic partners; what time to market, and time to ROI is realistic; and what strategies drive growth in value and ROI.
Pitch Strategy: I write or refine the written pitch to gain internal or external corporate alliances, budget or capital support. I train the executives in its compelling presentation.
Distribution Strategy: I create new and traditional distribution strategies, online and offline, including channel development (licensing, direct sales, ASP, ISV, VAR, OEM and mass market), new deal structures, contracts and negotiations.
Negotiation Strategy: I support my clients and their attorneys in contract negotiations with investors, acquirers, strategic partners and channel partners on issues of capital and strategic investment, acquisition, technology transfer and licensing, intellectual property, distribution, and international expansion.
Intellectual Property Strategy: I identify opportunities for intellectual property and patents to increase my clients’ asset base, valuation and licensing revenues.
International Strategy: I design strategy and policy for international expansion, online and offline, then support the structure and negotiation of the deals.
New Market Strategy: I design strategy and policy for lateral expansion into new, tangential markets, online and offline, then support the structure and negotiation of the the deals.
Due Diligence on Investors and Strategic Partners: I conduct the in-depth due diligence on potential investors and strategic partners before entering negotiations.
Due Diligence for Acquisition: I direct the creation of due diligence books in preparation for acquisition negotiations.
Due Diligence for Investment Funds: I advise investment funds on the risk-profile of their potential investments and acquisitions. I offer an analysis of the target company’s success potential, including any industry-critical factors which might jeopardize the company’s success. The investment fund may choose to retain me to coach the CEOs of selected portfolio companies.
Screening Strategy for Investment Funds: I refine the screening methodologies used by investment funds to choose their potential investments, by integrating my own proprietary tools with their methodologies.
Consulting: I support executives to keep focused on strategic objectives, R.O.I., and exit goals. I will consult in stealth mode, where requested and appropriate.