1 - If you are an Independent Consultant, your time is as important as earning a living.

Odds are you don't offer a software solution that "scales" ... so all you have is your brilliance and "x" hours a week.

Therefore, managing your time ... that's really important.
2 - There are several types of prospective clients. Most you don't want to work with.

Who do you want to work with? Somebody who is a "fan" and believes in what you are selling. They've been with you for a long time and they believe in you.
3 - Then there are a whole bunch of prospective clients who are "in the middle" ... not good, not bad. But they are generally time wasters.
4 - They want references.

They found you on Google and want to "learn more about your service offering".

They want to know what sets you apart from "the competition".

They want to know why you don't offer a different product because "that's a product that could be helpful".
5 - You can give these prospective clients an answer to every question they have, and it brings out more questions.

"Can you give me a specific example of a client in my vertical who you worked with and caused their sales to increase by 14% or more?"
6 - These prospective clients need to be "cut off" early in the exploratory process. There is a 1 in 4 chance they'll work with you, and no amount of work whatsoever will increase the 1 in 4 chance. They're just looking for a reason to bounce you.
7 - There are prospective clients who just want to argue with you because they want to look smart.

"Do you think that Amazon can scale their pharmacy business quickly?"

You cannot give an answer that is acceptable, and any answer fails to increase the odds of them hiring you.
8 - But the prospects to stay away from are the "we're looking for a low-cost provider" or "we're looking to outsource a crappy responsibility upon a consultant".

Both end up being horrible wastes of time, and you don't get paid enough or you end up working too much.
9 - You can ferret these people out pretty quick.

They ask for your "best price" early in the process ... it's one reason I NEVER negotiate my prices with anybody. This drives away the "low cost" people immediately ... no game for them to play.
10 - Crappy jobs ... those prospects need to be sent packing early as well.

They're like the "low cost" folks in that they want to pay nothing and have some servant do everything while they sit back and watch.
11 - You need a clear product offering ... this dissuades the "outsource" prospect from pushing you around (and yes, they will most certainly push you around, and if they do it in the hiring process, imagine what they do on a day-to-day basis?)
12 - Does that make sense?

Stay away from those who deflate your pricing advantage.

Stay away from those who are time vampires.

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More from @minethatdata

20 Nov
1 - Let's address this, because trust means something different to everybody, and nobody's viewpoint is wrong.
2 - I have a client who literally does the opposite of what I tell them, on purpose and has done so since 2014. They completely trust me, even when I rail on them three times a year. It makes no sense to me whatsoever. I've never seen anything like it. They trust me.
3 - I have a client who never acknowledges my work. I send them my work and I never hear a thing from them, positive or negative. But they keep hiring me.
Read 5 tweets
20 Nov
1 - When you are scoping out a project as an Independent Consultant, you have a decision to make ...

... do you open up the scope?

... or do you lock down and greatly limit the scope?
2 - This is not an easy decision, and quite honestly, the fate of your project depends upon the decision you make.
3 - Most vendors / competitors tend to lock the project down. In exchange for $40,000, the vendor / competitor will do "x" and "y" and "z" and that is all.
Read 10 tweets
19 Nov
You can care deeply about health care workers and the safety of all of us from a pandemic ...

... and you can absolutely feel for retail / small business owners who are being wiped out and are either told to close or told to operate at a loss.

It's not hard to do both.
Retail was in terrible shape prior to the pandemic.

Now it is being mulched.

There is going to be a hole that will take a long time to fill, and will fundamentally change what retail looks like going forward.
Retail was already shifting into "stuff that Amazon can't do" mode before the pandemic. Not "omnichannel" ... but "stuff that Amazon can't do."

The future sure looks like a fusion of that and "safety" ... and I mean "safety" in multiple ways.
Read 13 tweets
18 Nov
1 - In my Consulting work, I use unpaid stuff as a tactic to weed out those who aren't willing to pay enough.
2 - Here's how it works. Person emails me and says they want Consulting help on a topic and are "willing to pay me". That's often a red flag.

This frequently means they are "willing" to pay me $20/hour.
3 - I'll offer 20-30 minutes of consultation time for free, and I'll tell somebody that my typical rate ($400/hour) applies thereafter ... but they can ask whatever they want to ask during the free call and I'll answer honestly.
Read 6 tweets
18 Nov
1 - The future always comes. The past always fights it. Then the past dies ... quietly.

Here's a story for you.
2 - When I worked at Nordstrom and we decided to evaluate whether we were going to continue our catalog division, there were two camps.
3 - The first camp represented the future.

This camp said a lot of dumb things. They didn't always understand how customers behaved, they didn't always understand profitability, they didn't always understand how to deal with people.
Read 17 tweets
19 Oct
1 - In politics, some actively demean scientists.

In sports, you heard a prominent announcer last night say "sometimes you have to throw analytics in the dumpster".

Instead of focusing on the incidents/comments, focus on the bigger picture.
2 - I've told you before about being at a dinner with CEOs a few months ago, and one CEO did not like where my data would lead his company ... so he addresses me in front of the other CEOs and says the following:
3 - "Why should we listen to you? You're just a geek!"
Read 19 tweets

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