1. Barter. I have two coaching clients with whom I have this arrangement. The first one makes introductions for me with my target companies. The second helps me with my marketing and a potential direct mail campaign. In return I either coach, run a workshop or give a presentation. Or, even an agreed named case study that I can publish. No money changes hands.
2. Offer a money-back guarantee. This demonstrates your belief in the value of your services. There is some debate around offering a total 100%, so perhaps a 75% if your client does not get the value from the deal.
3. Deliver a lost leader with an agreement based on the findings. This works best for consultancy-type work. For example, a basic diagnostic for little cost with the agreement that you either get a % of the value of what you find or a commitment to deliver the follow-up work.
With all of these approaches you do need to be clear with the terms and conditions so that there are no misunderstandings. Of course you obviously cannot have all of your trading in this form, otherwise it won’t be long before your cash flow traffic light starts to flash red!. But maybe try one or two of these tactics to keep business moving.
Right – this week. On Monday I met with another professional consultant. We discussed how our services could compliment each other and where joining might allow us to market something different or market to a new segment. A very encouraging conversation during which we also shared our experiences. We both felt it to be a worthwhile meeting.
Tuesday was an intense networking day. I was a guest at the 4Networking breakfast session in Braintree. Very welcoming and easy-going group. We each had a 40 second slot and then three 10 minute 1-2-1 sessions with different members. This experience was somewhere between the BNI and Colchester Connected in terms of structure and formality. Membership is approx £490 + VAT with £10 for the breakfast. Once you are a member you get a Passport that allows you to attend any of the other 4Networking groups in the UK. They also have an active online Forum. www.4Networking.biz. In the evening I was a guest at the WIRE event in Bury St Edmunds. WIRE stands for Women in Rural Enterprise and this group is excellently run by Alex Parr. The guest speaker was Mindy Gibbins-Klein an “International Speaker and Thought Leadership Strategist”. She is known as the Book Midwife and supports writers in developing and publishing their books. Who was it that said “everyone has a book inside them!”? www.wireuk.org.
Thursday was a busy coaching day and today I am taking my own advice and meeting another local Bank Manager to find out how they can help me and my business.
Recommended Book of the Week.
Well, the sun has finally come out and thoughts turn to holidays. Or at least sitting in the garden. So this week, I recommend an old favourite to get you in the mood. “A Year in Provence” by Peter Mayle. You will probably remember the TV series. Not only is it extremely well-written but the witty style will have everyone who has ever been to rural France and met the locals, chuckling in recognition. So give the business books and serious tomes a rest and have some light-hearted enjoyment.
I seem to have spent the entire week catching hold of our kitten’s rear end as she tries to commit suicide by jumping out of one of our second or third floor windows. Are cats not intelligent? We are unsure whether she is just sniffing the air or scouting out an escape route. We are in no doubt with the living room window, having entered to see her disappearing out into the garden. This was followed by my husband and I practising our poor rugby techniques as a fluffy, nimble, sure-footed, feline scooted tantalisingly past us to the safety of one or other of our garden hedges. I was eventually successful but on triumphantly putting her down in the hallway heard James shout “the window’s still open”. There followed a frantic sprint, cat and woman, pounding up the hall, spinning around the corners, flying into the living room terminating with a leap through the air (yes both of us) towards the open window. I got there first! I was rewarded with the vilest look known to this planet and a mutual understanding that there is going to be retribution.
To website: http://ccconsulting.org.uk
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