Do you know who your first Consultancy Client is? The answer might surprise you.
People often under estimate the massive mental leap that it takes to start taking on Clients and charging for the work that you are doing – it requires a completely different mind-set than the one you have when you are in a Corporate role.
It can unlock a lot of fears and confidence issues that you may rarely have experienced before. Whereas previously our credibility was underpinned by the fact that we were speaking to clients as part of a bigger organisation – now it is often just about us as individuals – we are the whole business, rather than being a trusted representative.
We start to doubt ourselves, worry that perhaps we may not be quite good enough, worry that we will do a terrible job thereby ruining our professional reputation for all of time, worry that we will end up getting blamed for anything that goes wrong, worry that potential clients will think that a sole practitioner is just too risky etc etc.
This line of thinking, if unchecked, can spiral into full on “Just Me” syndrome. (Okay that’s just something I made up, it’s not a medically recognised syndrome or anything – but I see it all the time). It’s that fear that maybe it’s ridiculous to expect people to actually pay you for what you do because it’s “just me” and there are so many other people out there doing the same type of work, bigger Companies, recognised names, people who have been in business way longer.
So who is your first Client?
Your first Client is YOURSELF.
Your first sale in terms of someone recognising the value of what you are offering needs to be to yourself. You need to believe in the value of what you do before you can talk to a potential paying client – you need to recognise that the fact that you may be new to HR Consultancy, and haven’t had many (or any) clients yet doesn’t mean that what you are offering isn’t very valuable and worth paying for.
So to help you with this, let’s have a look at what exactly it is that you have to offer to your potential Clients & Customers. You are giving them;
~ Your Time
~ Your Effort
~ Your Attention
~ Your Energy
~ Your Expertise
~ Your Knowledge
~ Your Experience
All of this is uniquely YOU – no other person has what you have, knows what you know, works the way that you work.
Don’t underestimate yourself. Your clients won’t value you if you don’t value yourself. Don’t be tempted to stay safe by charging rock bottom rates and staying small. That isn’t going to help you to convince that first client (i.e. yourself) that what you are doing is needed and has value.
Your clients need to see that you are confident in your skills and that you can help them. A lot of that comes across on a sub conscious level so if you are continually telling yourself that you are not good enough, that it isn’t working, that you can’t find clients, that your business is going to fail – this will inevitably affect your sales conversations and they are unlikely to go well.
It’s not about being arrogant or over the top – it is about reminding yourself each and every day that there are people out there who need you, who need what you can do for them and that you have the opportunity to use your skills to help them, to solve the issues they can’t solve for themselves and at the same time, build a business and a lifestyle that you love.
So keep working on that first client every day – even when you have other (paying) clients.