A mistake I see happening in many small consulting practices is assuming the client knows as much about what you can do as you do. Consider…
Your clients do not know all of the solutions you provide. I’m endlessly amazed at the number of consultants who believe their clients will ask them about all of the solutions available or even know the right questions to ask. Using an example from the computer reseller and computer consulting world: One a client buys a few computer systems from you, they put you in the “computer system place” category. Unless you take the time to educate about additional products and services, most clients will not go out of their way to ask what they are.
Your clients have problems they do not know you can solve. Clients have many problems you can solve. But with many of those problems, they have no idea that your business can help solve them. It is up to you to identify the problems, let the client know you understand them, and tell them what to do about it. (There is a never-fail system I use to do this, it’ll be the topic of another post. Keep an eye out…)
Your clients are paying you to be the expert. They do not know everything there is to know about your business, and they do not stay on top of every new development in the industry. You must anticipate their wants, needs, problems and goals. Then connect the dots between what they want and what you offer to fix it. Recently, a computer consultant client of mine added 27% to his net monthly profit simply by noticing a common problem his clients had and automatically offering it as an “add-on” for every job no matter what they were buying. A certain percentage say yes, and my client deposits bigger checks with no additional marketing cost.