️Episode 035 – Use the Great Resignation to Create Consulting Clients

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. Resignations peaked in April and have remained abnormally high for the last several months, with a record-breaking 10.9 million open jobs at the end of July. This has left many employers scrambling to retain, attract workers and figure out how to continue to run their business and obtain their revenue goals.

“The Great Resignation” is real, and it can be seen across virtually all industries. With so many open positions in so many companies, this produces a lot of opportunities especially in industries like tech. So how can you use the Great Resignation to create consulting clients? 

There are three specific ways that you can leverage this movement to increase your pipeline and close those lucrative high-paying deals that you want to be working on.

On this episode, I discuss: 
How to leverage “The Great Resignation” to create client acquisition for your business – 
[04:10] Strategy #1 
[08:20] Strategy #2 
[12:13] Strategy #3 
[16:17] Caution – What you should be aware of.
[17:44] But Melisa Segment – What to do if you’re hesitant about implementing these strategies.


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**note: This is an automated transcript, so please ignore spelling errors and grammar mistakes*


Welcome to the Grow Your Independent Consulting Business podcast. I’m Melisa Liberman, a fellow IC and business coach. On this podcast, I teach you to become a consistently booked independent consultant without becoming a pushy salesperson or working 24/7. If I can do it, you can too, listen on to find out how.


Welcome back


to the podcast, I am so glad you’re here, whether you’re brand new, or have been listening for a while, I’m excited to share something with you today that I think will make a really big difference in client acquisition for you. So, let’s dive in. The topic is how to use the great resignation to create consulting clients. And let me just caveat this by saying right now as of the time of recording, the great resignation is really something that so many companies and industries are battling with and trying to retain top talent trying to recruit and hire. And you know, I was doing some research, there’s about 900,000 tech jobs, for example, open right now, which is up from 700,000 in 2019. So there’s a lot of opportunity, a lot of job openings in especially in industries like tech. And so companies are really scrambling to figure out how are they going to solve these staffing needs? How are they going to continue running their businesses and achieving their revenue goals. And so this makes it right for you as a consultant. And I’ll talk with you about the three ways to leverage this situation. So that you can increase the number of potential clients in your pipeline, and ultimately close those really lucrative high paying deals that you want to be working on the juicy, meaty consulting roles. All right, if you happen to be listening to this, at some point in the future, when there isn’t a great resignation going on, and maybe there’s less unemployment, there are less opportunities, I really encourage you to stick around. Because these techniques that I’m sharing with you are timeless, these techniques are real life techniques that my clients are using, that are getting really good results in terms of finding new clients. And I want to make sure that you don’t skim over these thinking that the great resignation is the only time that they will work, because that’s certainly not the case. What does make it a lot better right now, in this era of the great resignation, is the fact that there is so much opportunity out there so much low hanging fruit. So it’s probably easier at the moment to execute on these strategies, but for sure they work no matter what’s going on in the world. So with that, let’s dive into these three ways that you can leverage the great resignation, to create consulting clients for yourself. So that’s what we’re going to focus on today. After I go through those three ways, and strategies to leverage in your business, then I’m going to dive into a caution, something I want to caution you about. So don’t miss that. Because it’s really important. You don’t want these strategies I’m sharing with you to backfire on your business. So really listen out for that caution. And then at the end, we’ll wrap up with one of my favorite parts of the podcast that I bring forward a lot, which is what I call but Melisa, but Melisa, like in the whiny voice, right? It’s not gonna work for me because of XY and Z. And I just want to share with you up front that, that you can make these strategies work for your business, if you really approach what I’m going to share with you with an open mind and thinking about it from the perspective of how could this work, versus Why won’t this work? So think about it from that lens. And then at the end, we’ll go over those but Melisa’s and how to address them. Okay. So with that, let’s dive into the first strategy, the first way that you can leverage what’s going on right now with a great resignation, to create consulting clients for yourself. And the first way to leverage the great resignation is by identifying clients, potential clients who are struggling to retain or hire the talent that they need to have to run their business to grow their business. And once you’ve identified those target companies really dive in to help them figure out why they don’t need those FTEs at all, rather than sitting with all of these open jobs and going through the whole process of trying to vet and hire and attract that talent and Lam the tax over their competitors, you know the drill right? Figuring out how can you get your foot in the door, to have conversations with those potential clients to show them that they potentially don’t need some of those FTEs that they think they do, by way of changing the way they do business. So I have one client, I’ll just share a little bit of a generic example here, I don’t want to give away any client details. But what they were able to do is go in and identify several prospective clients in the industry that they work in, you know, that they typically consulted in and saw that those clients had a lot of job openings posted on their company, website and on LinkedIn. And so they went in and started really looking at even just the publicly available information through those, you know, what they could read between the lines in those job postings. And we’re able to figure out that there were some opportunities to have discussions about how to shift the way that you know, those targeted companies were doing business. And so my client just started reaching out to those organizations to potential hiring managers in those organizations, business unit leaders, recruiters, you know, the normal networking type of activities, and was able to get their foot in the door and start having these conversations about, you’ve got these job openings piling up that are not being filled. Let’s look at your business, I have some ideas about how you can eliminate needing those jobs at all, needing those positions to be filled, by changing the way that you’re approaching your business. And in this particular example, they were able to start creating a business case for this particular corporate client, about how they could flatten their organization, and not have as many managers and even director level, you know, a proposal that would help them to flatten the organization, so that they would be able to hire lower level individuals, and train them and equip them with what they needed to be successful. That’s an example without sharing too many client details there of my own client, right. So that’s a really good example of looking at the ideal client that you serve the or the ideal industry that you serve, and starting to think about things differently, as you do as a consultant to figure out what you might recommend to these companies that have these job openings piling up, and they’re not able to fill them at all or fast enough, and creating a business case and a conversation, you’re not going to know all the answers, right, because you haven’t even met with them and heard their own particular pain points. So you’re making some educated guesses, you’re getting your foot in the door, to start having these conversations, and making recommendations about how they could avoid needing to fill all of these full time positions by changing the way they do business. So that’s the first method that you can leverage this great resignation or all these open, all this open headcount that we see out there right now, to create consulting clients for yourself. The second way that I’ve seen that works really well is helping companies become more attractive to those job seekers out there, providing them with consulting guidance, to better fill the open headcount that they have to make them more attractive. So let me give you an example of this. What this looks like is, again, figuring out who is your target ideal clients, maybe it’s a name of a corporate company, maybe it’s a certain industry, whatever it is, and starting to do the same kind of due diligence that I just recommended in that first method, and figuring out what could you start recommending to the company that targeted prospects to make them more attractive to job seekers? So let me give you an example. An example again, not sharing my own clients identifiable information, because that is something I hold to the utmost regard confidentiality, but an example would be development organization that’s trying to hire developers and they haven’t yet switched over to Agile. They’re still working on waterfall, those types of laggard processes. They might be later adopters to some form of technology or some methodology, and therefore are not as attractive to developers who are looking for new roles, who might come to them otherwise, and so helping to figure out and do that initial analysis for the prospective client to figure out how could they better filled those open headcount, how could they better fill those full time positions? Again, leveraging that as a way for you to initiate conversations with those organizations, those organizations that you want to turn into consulting clients. These are really meaty conversations, you’re not just calling someone up on a cold call, or sending them an email or a direct message, or hoping to talk with them, you have something really meaningful that you can offer to them to say, look, I’ve been looking at the publicly available information about your business. And this is what I’m noticing. These are the trends that I’ve noticed with other similar companies. And I’d love to have a conversation with you about what you can do in the short term in the medium term to make you know, your division or your business unit more attractive to job seekers that are looking for new roles right now. And you could be engaging those conversations with HR, but also with the business units themselves with the hiring managers, with the business unit leaders, and having that kind of strategic dialogue, to help them address the gap that they’ve got from a resourcing perspective, by figuring out how to be more attractive in the marketplace and the recommendations you can make around that. So that’s a second way that I’ve seen work really well as a conversation starter, as a way to get your foot in the door with potential consulting clients, and start having those strategic value added conversations. And then also for you to be able to recommend to them, even a starter project, right, an initial project where you’re coming in and doing an assessment, that then could lead to something bigger. So you’re able to get paid right away to do that type of assessment after you’ve developed that trust and relationship. And then that leads to bigger things. So that’s a second way that you can leverage what’s going on right now, with the great resignation and all of the open headcount to create consulting clients. And then the third way that I’ve seen working really well also is going out and looking at again, at your targeted ideal consulting clients, who are they? What are the names of those companies, or industries? And then looking at all those job openings that they have? So same thing, right, we’re always looking at the job openings and trying to figure out trends around that. And figuring out what is your best guess as to what it is they’re trying to accomplish by filling this role on a strategic level? And then going in and, you know, starting a conversation with these hiring managers with the business unit leaders about why do you even need a full time employee here, because this is something that a consultant could do. Obviously, a consultant like you, right, the variation here is the first method that I recommended to you is helping companies change the way they do business. So either they, they might not need the FTE at all, or they might need like a different kind of, of employee, or they might need fewer employees or different types of employees. The second method I recommend to you is that you’re looking to help them become more competitive and compelling as they’re going out and competing for talent. And this third method that I’m recommending to you is to say, You know what, just abandon your efforts here to hire a full-time employee and look at bringing on you know, someone like me, an independent consultant, a freelancer, whatever you call yourself to fill this need to create this value, and really helping them to see that their way of looking at things could be very kind of rooted in the past, versus looking at what they’re trying to solve the business problem they’re trying to solve or the business goal they’re trying to achieve. And looking at someone like you and experts to achieve that it doesn’t require a full time resource, for example. So that’s the third way that I’ve seen work really well is going out and finding those pockets of opportunity, where, you know, you could fill this role yourself, not in a full time capacity, but you know, you could fill this role and help them accomplish what they need to be accomplishing without hiring a full time employee. So those are the three ways that I’ve seen using real life examples that my independent consulting clients have been able to leverage what’s going on right now with a great resignation. And the amount of open headcount that companies are trying to fill that’s been, you know, really challenging for them to do that, and start turning those into consulting clients. So I recommend you really think about these three different methods and how they apply to your business, and what you do, and the type of clients you serve. Pick one of these and start implementing it, whether it’s you recommending that you take over the responsibilities. I’ll give you a caution to that in a minute. But you know, where you’re really recommending that you could fulfill the needs of the organization and provide the value that they don’t need a full time employee, or you’re helping them to assess and figure out how could I hire better? How could I be more attractive to job seekers? Or how could I alter my staffing plans so as to make this challenge, go away, or at least mitigate it. So again, those are the three ways that I’ve seen work really well go figure out which one of them you want to implement in your business and start putting these strategies into action, because I know for sure that they work, and they’ll work for you, you know, if you start really implementing them, and iterating to figure out what’s going to work for your particular business, and will help you to start selling work that is at a higher quality, higher paid level as well. Okay, with that, now, I’ve given you the strategies, I want to give you the caution. And this is really important. The caution is, especially as it relates to that third option I shared with you, which is you pitching yourself to fill some gap in their organization, you want to make sure that you’re not creating a job for yourself, you’re an independent consultant for a reason. You don’t want to be in corporates, as a full time employee, most likely, if you’re here listening, if you do, then go pitch yourself for that full time role. But don’t do it on accident, don’t do it inadvertently. So that’s not what I’m telling you to do. You want to go in and really approach this in a way that as you’re recommending to the client, potentially, that you could fill in and provide the type of expertise that they need, that maps to some of those job openings that they have, you want to be really cautious that you’re focused on what the outcomes are, what the value is that you would deliver, and they don’t think they’re hiring you for capacity for number of hours you could spend, and therefore you just get yourself into a situation where you’re paid by the hour, and you’re essentially a contract worker who’s working, you know, to provide them with additional extra set of hands. Okay, so that is my caution to you don’t recreate the job that you left. And then let’s wrap up with what I lovingly say to you the button Melisa’s the argument that you might have been having, as I was describing this to you of why it won’t work for you. What’s different about what you do that these don’t apply. And what I really want to challenge you on is thinking about how can they work for you and go to answering that question. Versus so many times I find that the place that consultants get stuck is Why won’t this work, we’re always looking for problems, right? We’re always looking for problems. And when we start thinking about our own business in that way, we end up creating a dynamic or we’re really just stuck. We’re stuck because we’ve ruled out every possibility that we think won’t work for us. And then we’re left with really nothing to do nothing to approach as a business development process, for example. So don’t get in that habit. Go ask yourself, How can this apply to me? So for example, if you start thinking things like, oh, you know, I don’t have the right contacts in these organizations, these strategies most suggest shared with me aren’t going to work. Maybe you don’t have the right contacts. We weren’t all born with a network, right? So your better question to shift into is, how could I go create the contacts in this organization that will help give me the insights that I need, in order to open the door to these types of conversations that I just recommended to you? That’s a much more valuable conversation to be having in your head, then I don’t know the right people, you know, this isn’t gonna work for me. All right. So recognize as you’re, as you’re thinking about these three strategies I shared with you where your mind might be taking you off into that spot of this isn’t going to work for me for XYZ reason and redirect it to ask yourself, how could it work for me? Sometimes, that is the nuance that is the very small difference between the strategies that I share with you on this podcast working for you and them not working for you. And you’re spending your time here with me and I want to make sure that it’s valuable and actionable, and that you go and put this into action in your own business. Alright, so that’s my rant for you today on the but Melisa category, these are excuses, my friends, don’t make excuses for yourself go figure out how to implement these strategies, which can help you elevate the conversations you’re having with potential clients, which will get potential clients to meet with you, when otherwise, they think it would be a waste of their time. These are meaningful conversations that are top of mind for these individuals. And you approaching them with a little bit of thought and due diligence having been put in place is going to open the door for you to start having these conversations, to start selling, you know, lead in work, and ultimately, to have a really robust pipeline of clients that you’re loving to work with. So with that, my friends, those are the three ways that you can use the great resignation, to create consulting clients for yourself. And I would love to hear your stories of how you’ve implemented this and put it into action. So come over to LinkedIn and drop me a message, you know, as you’re implementing this and getting wins. And if for some reason you’re having challenges, it’s not working exactly as I described for you, or you’re not sure how it can apply in your business. Definitely come over to consultmelisa.com and schedule a call with me and we’ll dive into your specific business and figure out what’s going on and how you can start applying these techniques so that you have a consistent steady stream of clients and a growing, flourishing business. Okay, have a great rest of your week. Thanks for tuning in.


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