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Consultants Need To Change The Way They Build Strategic Relationships

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Are you making friends with all the wrong people?

Have you been building your list of contacts?

Or have you been making friends in all the wrong places?

Often we instinctively gravitate towards lower level contacts or even contacts at the level WE were at in our corporate careers. 

These are the people we can relate to.

These are the people that are easy for us to talk with.

They’re friendly and eager to speak with us.

But your time is finite and you need to invest it wisely.

Sure you can arrange a meeting with them and enjoy their positive attention.

Maybe they’ll even say they want to work with you, and ask you to put a proposal together.

But when they say they need to get approval from their boss (or higher) – you’re in trouble. 

Because now you’re relying on someone else to win over the decision-maker instead of doing it yourself.

And they’re simply not going to do as good a job of that as you can.

You need to be building your network with C level contacts, and by that I mean Chief Executives, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Operating Officers – the Executive level of an organisation.

You need to shift your mindset when you’re networking so that the people you are linking in with in an organisation aren’t just entry-level administrators or mid-level management. 

You need to target the sharks.

Finding that difficult? Daunting? Wondering why these high-achieving, time-poor, closely-guarded individuals would want to spend time with you?

You may have had a sense of hierarchy drilled into you throughout your life. In school. In your employed career. And now you picture yourself as this tiny person with your own business and they’re in charge of this huge corporation. Why would they want to speak with you?!?

There’s three things you need to do to make this possible:

#1 You must first see yourself as you actually are in this scenario. 

You need to remember that you’re also a CEO.

You’re the boss of your own business and that makes you a shark too.

Repeat after me: ‘I am a shark too’.

#2 Build good relationships with gatekeepers.

These people – and often it’s women – these women can make your life amazing or completely miserable. So don’t forget that if you can also help them and be someone they are happy to speak to that will go a long way towards building high level relationships. Don’t treat them like someone you have to trip over to get the thing you want.

And I have to say, I actually think as women we are often instinctively more likely to nurture relationships at all levels wherever we find ourselves. So follow your instincts. Be a human being. Show interest and concern for other people.

#3 Align yourself with C Suite objectives.

You need to step forward boldly with these interactions because even C Suite and Board Level contacts – they are people too and they need your help to deliver their corporate objectives.

Find out what their problems are. And what financial impact those problems have. How can you align your services to their goals?

When you position yourself as an ally on their side, helping them achieve their goals, helping them meet their biggest needs – you will get their attention and they will have time for you.

And that is where you need to invest your time and energy. In getting a ‘yes’ from the person with budget sign-off, not the friendly former colleague who means well but has no decision-making power.

Target the sharks.

🎧  Want to hear more? Head here to listen to the full episode of the Seven Figure Consultant Podcast, 014 – How To Target The Sharks in your business

🔥  I’d love to hear from you. Have you found it hard to get in front of the right people in your consulting business?

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