How many consultants really want business? I assume the answer is all of them. This may be true, but the other side of truth is that many consultants forget that the practices they hate in others are sometimes the practices they exhibit towards others. Let me explain.
Some time ago I submitted a proposal to a potential client who came searching for me. After that I couldn’t get the guy to return a phone call or an email. That would be irritating at any time, but in this case, the guy I submitted the proposal to is also a consultant who’s working an assignment elsewhere. One would think that he’d fully understand what it’s like being an independent consultant and would at least return a message of some sort; nope.
A few months ago, at a networking event, I was talking to someone new who asked me to send them some information by email about the types of services I provide. The person then added that he very rarely looked at his email, and therefore it might take him a long time to get back to me. I wondered what that was all about, as in why give out an email address that you’re never going to take the time to check in the first place? This was a small independent business owner who said he lived by his cell phone, but I wondered as I walked away just how much business this guy might be leaving on the table by not checking his email more often.
Technology is a wonderful thing, and we have so many things in today’s world which are supposed to help us build and maintain our businesses. However, if some of us are going to stick to bad business principles of the past, such as not returning legitimate calls (not returning unsolicited sales calls is something different, in my mind) from people who want your business or whose business you’ve solicited basically sends the message that you don’t care about them.
And if you don’t care about your own business, why should anyone else?