Business Success Newsletter

A resource of the Center for Strategic Relations.

Issue #7 -- March 02, 2001.

Published each Friday and distributed to business professionals just like yourself, to promote business education and provide top quality information for you to improve your business, career, and self. Subscription information is available at the end of this newsletter. Thank you for reading.

Dear Potential Giant:

Two great keys of being your best in business is knowing who you are and getting paid for your services. I sincerely recommend that you take a MAPP self-assessment (this weeks sponsor) and read this article by Ed Kleinman where he gives you practical advice to prevent you from giving away the store. Too many times I see businesses with potential never get past the interview because they solved the clients problems in the presentation.

If you do want to share a secret about your success, pass this newsletter along to a friend, and email me your success stories. If I have been able to help you in anyway, I would like to share that experience with others. Send your story to with the subject ?Success Story? -- I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Success to you and yours,

Justin Hitt
Managing Editor

This Weeks Sponsor

Learn more about your abilities with the free online MAPP Assessment and career Match tools. Utilize this remarkable tool to highlight your strengths and help you address your weaknesses today!

Useful Articles

Are You An Unpaid Consultant?

Ed Kleinman, 07 December, 2000.

Imagine the following scenario. You are a professional, a business owner, high tech, finance, consulting field, or any other business that has a product or service to market and sell. You are meeting with a potential client and the interaction goes something like this:

PROSPECT: ? So, tell me about your services (product) ?.

You: I provide expertise in many areas, which help our clients.

PROSPECT: Well we have this situation in progress right now. What can you do for us?

You: Because of our expertise and knowledge we can, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, and we also provide, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH,... and so for the for the next twenty minutes.

PROSPECT: (As he makes detailed notes) ?that sounds very interesting and all things being equal, we very may well do business with you and your company.

You: Great, when can I expect to here from you?

Prospect: Well, I have to run this by my committee. We will get back shortly.

Then you back to your office thinking that you have locked up a piece of business and that he will be calling you that same day. What has happened is that you have taken a ?THINK IT OVER? and mistook it for real business.

In reality the only one who is ?thinking? about anything is you. Your prospect has taken you expertise and information and will most likely go for a better price from their present vender or better yet one of your competitors.

Why did this happen? It happened because the prospect has a system engineered to gather as much information about your product or services as possible while giving very little. He negotiates for the best possible price and term for the services or products that you offer while playing his card close his vest.

Your prospect wants to know what you know, without paying for it. He knows that you are an expert in your field and can help with productivity, efficiency, and lower his costs. This situation has a name, UNPAID CONSULTING.

Most Professionals have difficulties in this area and that is natural. As professionals you have spent years developing your expertise, school, college, professional training, and in the trenches experience. You are proud of this expertise and rightly so. Your like to educate and after all educating your prospect or customer is a large part of your business. The problem with educating is that it may not result in a sale not result in a new customer or client and often does not. As a professional you have spent a lot of time learning all the powerful information that you possess. So when someone ask you a question pertaining to your business and what you do, you can?t wait to give them the answer, even if it does not benefit you or your business from a client/customer development standpoint.

Typically, the non-selling professional or technical person doesn't truly want to sell anything. It doesn't matter if you're a consultant, e-commerce business, a banker, an accountant etc. You did not invest time, money and a lot of energy gaining your expertise to spend it going from door to door peddling your wares. You know only too well that selling does not have the greatest reputation in the marketplace. As a result you may have the tendency to establish your credibility by sharing your expertise with a prospect, but alas, here is where you very well can become an ?UNPAID CONSULTANT?

The way to avoid this is to establish some ground rules with your prospect. We refer to this as an ?UP FRONT CONTRACT?. Basically goes something like this: I ASK YOU SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR NEEDS AND YOU ASK ME ABOUT WHAT I DO AND WE DECIDE IF THERE IS FIT TO DO BUSINESS. That way there is no hidden agenda, both parties know what is going to happen and have agreed and know what the next step in the process is going to be. If there is not fit, then it is over. If there is a fit then the process continues and may result in a win-win business relationship. The ?Up Front Contract? keeps getting renewed, as you progress and everybody know what?s happening all the time. Your prospect is happy that they are not talking to some ?killer, snake oil salesperson? that is only interested in ?taking the money and running?.

You have established yourself as a professional consultant with a product or service that will benefit not only your prospect by the growth of your own business. You have planted your feet politely and established that you are there to do business and are not just going to be an unpaid consultant and give your expertise away. You have put a value on your expertise and by not giving it away you will not only grow your business you will help your customers do the same.


Ed Kleinman brings over 28 years of sales, management, training and corporate executive business coaching experience with background in the communications and entertainment industry. Providing consulting services while helping clients growth their business, he is ISO9000 certified. Featured "Personal Business Advisor" at

Notable Quotation

Doing your best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment. Oprah Winfrey

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