The 6th of 10 Things Nobody Tells Entrepreneurs

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(for the wrong reasons.)


Dear Business Owners and Managers: Stop with the knee-jerk decisions to hire consultants. They will not help you through the economy unless they are specialists at bringing sales in your door!

Until at least a couple of years down the road,  there is no need for “communication consultants” or “management trainers” or “personal growth and development consultants” or people to write your mission statement, your vision statement, your annual reports or your “white papers.”

How do I know? Because I’ve done all of the above (and made a successful career of it), but I also have run my own business for 35 years, and helped to start hundreds of others. I’ve run management and communication and personal growth and development training programs for 20,000 people. And I’ll be the first to tell you not to waste your time and money on these services, in this economy.

There is only one thing you need consultant support for these days, and that is for services that bring you sales. Period.

That having also been said,  I will be so bold as to suggest that communications and marketing generalists are also not the kinds of “sales consultants” to trust. Find a specialist. Do not EVER hire a marketing or communications consulting firm to do your website. Get a website specialist. Do not EVER hire a website specialist to write your website content. Get a writer who understands sales.

A good, proven commercial / marketing / advertising / website writer can do more for your business than all the ad agencies, marketing and communication consultants and non-sales trainers you can find put together! You need writing help? Hire a writer!

There is a growing temptation to panic at the financial strangulation your cutbacks have created, and grasp at any outside service that –like the frustrated wife whose husband  was a marketing executive and could only ever sit on the edge of the bed and talk about how great it would be– you simply cannot afford right now.

Promises do not perform. Providers with track-records for creating and delivering sales perform, and are worth paying! Look for a successful writer who is a quick study and who shows you she or he can learn your business promptly, who has a customer benefit focus instead of a chest-beating, “how great your business is” and product / service features focus.

You want someone who can help you develop sales strategies and create the tactics that support that thinking. You want someone who is not afraid to work weekends or evenings to get the job done.

You want someone who will take the extra step, go the extra mile, and give you more than what you expect … someone who is both a talented writer and an example of what you want and expect from a sales pro … someone who counts your sales as the priority mission.

Anyone who fits this profile,  by the way, should also be receptive to at least partial compensation based on performance. I know a lot of consultants will hate me for this post, but –down deep– they’ll have to admit that I speak the truth.


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