A key part of our training for new consultants is around the products and services we offer. We want to ensure they understand exactly what these are, how they work, why they are beneficial for potential clients, how to tailor them to meet client requirements and how to price them in accordance with the market rate.
If they have all this clear in their mind from day one, it increases the likelihood of getting regular client income as quickly as possible.
Clarity is everything
Many new HR consultants start out without a clearly defined suite of products and services they plan to offer their clients, instead thinking they’ll offer ‘HR advice and support to small businesses’ or similar.
However our extensive experience and knowledge of how small business owners buy HR services (and indeed many other services) shows that they feel most comfortable when they are buying a particular product or service, and have a clear understanding of what they are getting, what the benefits to them will be, and what the costs are.
We have developed a suite of services which we know clients want and understand, and are continually reviewing these and sometimes adding to them based on feedback we get and research we conduct.
Why do small business owners look for HR support?
We ensure our new consultants have an accurate profile of the different types of business owners who might be seeking HR support – what their circumstances are likely to be and what is likely to have prompted them to seek advice.
Being able to identify the different potential client ‘profiles’ in this way means consultants will be able to talk about their services in a way which engages the potential client and makes them feel comfortable with the consultant and confident that they will be able to help.
If a new consultant just starting out is able to confidently describe the benefits of the services they are offering in a way that highlights the benefits small business owners are actually looking for, and giving examples of how they have worked for previous clients, their credibility with potential clients and referrers is enhanced.
We ensure new consultants can clearly explain the services they offer, not just in terms of the features of the service, but more importantly, the benefits of that service for potential clients – what problems does the service solve, and exactly how it does that.
This means not only do they look and sound confident and credible, it also means those who might be looking for HR support, or who might be asked for a referral to an HR consultant, feel comfortable approaching or recommending our consultant.
Hearing how a particular service benefits clients is more likely to ‘chime’ with someone who has heard about a specific problem a contact has, as opposed to hearing an HR consultant vaguely describe HR support they offer.
How to tailor services
We are all about ensuring that clients get a very tailored service, identifying and meeting their particular needs, and not treating each client as the same. This means that whilst we offer a framework of core services, each of the products and services we offer can easily be tailored by the consultants to ensure they can provide the highest level of benefit to a potential client.
We train our consultants in how to tailor services effectively, to ensure they are providing the best service and are more likely to win business through demonstrating a clear understanding of that client’s interests and circumstances.
Effective clear pricing
Whilst we are not prescriptive with our pricing, and understand that consultants operate in different regions and marketplaces, we do offer structured price guidance, to ensure that consultants can quote accurate and fair fees for the services they offer.
We also train consultants in how to price services which are very individual, for example relating to a specific project, or very tailored from our core services, for example a client who wishes to go on to our retainer services but wants a higher level of support. Being able to price these services is a bit of an art and is something that comes with experience.