Right mindset can help consultants attract clients and achieve success

09 July 2018 Consultancy.eu 4 min. read

Countless elements are involved in the making of a successful consultant. Possessing the right mindset to match the circumstances is among them and, at times, can be even more important than experience or expertise. In his highly-rated book The Elite Consulting Mind, author Michael Zipurksy reveals his choice of proven mindsets that lead to consulting success. 

CEO of ConsultingSuccess.com, experienced consultant, and author whose work has featured in the Financial Times, Michael Zipurksy has personally coached more than 6,000 consultants while countless more have absorbed advice from his books, newsletters and seminars. 

His experience has convinced the Canada-based entrepreneur that mindset is equally, if not more, important for success in the consulting business as strategy, tactics and a toolkit packed with proven technological solutions. His latest work, ‘The Elite Consulting Mind’, details what he dubs the “16 proven mindsets to attract more clients, increase your income, and achieve meaningful success”.

Among them is what Zipursky names the ‘imperfect outreach’ mindset. This is the antidote to an extremely common problem in the consulting industry, particularly when it comes to product development. Many consultants, overly eager to control the destiny of their independent firms or careers, become obsessed with marketing and business strategies. 

Here Zipursky is aligned with other innovative minds in consulting – such as growth specialists RevelX which advises clients to create a Minimum Viable Product – who acknowledge the danger of holding a business back by demanding perfection, rather than just getting on with progress, however imperfect it may be.

“The right mindset can help consultants attract more clients, increase their income, and achieve meaningful success.”
– Michael Zipurksy, author of The Elite Consulting Mind

“Most consultants don't make the progress they want... not because they don't know what to do, but because they spend too much time trying to get things right,” he argues. “They over-think and try to perfect their marketing and outreach, which holds them back from actually getting on with it”.

“The best marketing isn't a one-time activity. It's a process. The more outreach you do, the more conversations you'll have, the more feedback you'll get from the marketplace and the more you'll be able to learn what works best and what doesn't”.

Dare to say no

Zipurksy also adopts a common theme from the self-help world and gives it a consulting twist for another key mindset – the power of saying no. While in the great pantheon of personal development books this means empowering the self by saying no to things like drinks and dinner parties, for consultants the stakes are much higher. 

A consultant struggling to secure new clients and raise revenue has an extremely hard time saying no to any opportunity that comes their way, Zipurksy notes. Although this might seem necessary in the short-term, he argues that, further down the line, they are liable to have “schedules full of low-value clients who drag down their energy levels”.

Naturally this is not a long-term recipe for success. “If you want to create a thriving consulting firm you must be selective in who and what you say ‘yes’ to and be comfortable with saying ‘no’ often”, he concludes. This allows a smart consultant to focus on serving high-value clients on projects that are both profitable and enjoyable. 

Each of the mindsets outlined in his work will be familiar to consultants with a fleeting knowledge of psychological techniques and personal development. What Zipursky brings to the table is a detailed discussion on how to leverage those insights to advance a consulting firm forward.