As you seek customers, be prepared for plenty of disappointment and rejection, advises D. Gary Madden. Consultants who are reluctant to sell themselves may find their businesses failing.
"You can never stop marketing yourself because you're only so good as your most recent client's satisfaction," Madden warns. If you're too busy to market yourself or lack the ability, hire someone to do it for you.
If you plan to handle sales yourself, be smart about it. Focus your sales pitch on potential clients' needs and concerns. "You can't just go out there and say who you are and what your fee is," says Joanne Mitchell of Pacific Medical. "You've got to explain how you're going to help them in the short and long term. Remember, not every client is looking to save money. Sometimes they just want to know how to get a better handle on information."