Know the Season: Part 2
In the first article we looked at the cycle of the financial year and the cycle of the school year to explore how much this impacted the way your clients and their customers respond to sales and marketing activities.
In this article we will look at two longer running seasons: the economic cycle and the season of your life.
Making Your Future Work – Get Experience as a Board Member
It is incredibly valuable as a senior professional to get experience as a board member. There are three reasons that this really can make a difference to your career.
Making Your Future Work – Plan your exit from full-time employment.
There are many situations in our lives where we start to realise that full-time employment is just not working for us. It may be that we are coming into a season where we want to look after our families, we want to have children, we want to spend time with our children.
Is my Portfolio Executive Workstyle Making my Future Work?
Your Portfolio Executive Workstyle needs to be sustainable, rewarding and enjoyable. It’s not enough, in my view, for it to just keep you busier and busier. You don’t want to be moving from being enslaved by a Corporate Workstyle, to becoming enslaved with your own Portfolio Executive Workstyle.
How can I Multitask as a Portfolio Executive?
For many of us, we have had a working life where we have one job where we’re accountable to one set of people and we are doing one thing. When you become a Portfolio Executive, this no longer applies. You will have multiple clients who expect the best of you.
Rejecting Client Feedback – The Arrogance Trap?
As a Portfolio Executive you will have a level of confidence in your professional skill, wisdom and insight that you bring into the role as a trusted advisor to your clients. You may often believe that your client is less expert than you in the field that you’ve chosen.
Enabling people to buy through powerful conversations
Many years ago, I trained as a coach and as an executive coach you are taught to ask powerful questions and to engage in conversations which leave people at choice. I firmly believe that the most effective conversations with potential clients are conversations where you enable them to buy, particularly if you are offering them a professional service.
Video and the Portfolio Executive
Social Media organisations have been promoting video as their preferred engagement medium for quite a long time now. Making videos is more accessible for the average person than ever before. But I think you want to consider very carefully how you want to use video to build your profile as a Portfolio Executive.
Is referral and networking enough to build my Portfolio Executive workstyle?
Many of the Portfolio Executives I work with have had no experience of going out and doing anything more in terms of self-promotion than applying for jobs with a CV through an agent. The idea of doing some kind of outbound marketing and some kind of focussed selling can be very very challenging
Building a Pipeline of Opportunities
One of the great advantages of a Portfolio Executive working is that once you’ve got a mature portfolio of 4-6 clients who are staying with you for 4-6 years, then the number of new clients you need to find per year goes down to about 1.
Starting a Conversation with a Potential Client
As you start to engage with potential clients beyond your immediate network, you need to find a way of pitching your value to people who don’t already know you. You may be recommended, introduced or just connected on LinkedIn. How do you start that first conversation with someone who you don’t really know?
Upgrading your Portfolio
When I am working with people who are building up their Portfolio Executive workstyle, very often they start working for smaller businesses than works best for them. They are also offering lower rates than they eventually can demand from the market. I encourage them to just get started.
Goldilocks and the Portfolio Executive
The first challenge for a Portfolio Executive is to work out what the ‘Director of’ or ‘Head of’ function you are going to adopt.
The second challenge is to work out what is the right size of business for you. Like Goldilocks you don’t want something that is too hot or too cold, you want something that is in the middle.
I’ve tried being an Independent Consultant and now I want to be a Portfolio Executive
Many of the people who come to me who want to become a Portfolio Executive, were in a full-time salaried position, but have stepped out to become an Independent Consultant. They may have been able to work with a previous employer to do some consulting work.
Understanding Referrers and Connectors
Word of mouth marketing is recognised as the most powerful marketing tool we have in our armoury and as we build our portfolio of clients then word of mouth will be crucial to bring in new clients. This is simulated on social media, but true word of mouth marketing is one person talking to another.
I am too busy to find clients
Having worked to help people build their portfolio executive proposition and to go out and win their first client. I increasingly hear them telling me that they are too busy to find anymore clients. At one level this is a great success story. They have more work than they can cope with. Fantastic!
Why Consulting is Not Fit for Purpose
I have worked for a global professional services practice where I was a partner and where I was consulting for large and medium sized businesses. After being in that firm for five years I became very disenchanted with what big consulting did for its clients.
Selling your 2nd Half Career to your Current Employer
Probably the context in which you have the strongest relationships and the strongest potential to develop your 2nd Half Career is actually with your current employer. At first sight, you may question how favourably your employer will look at your proposal to become independent.
Finding the right size business for your Portfolio Executive Workstyle
I am working with former Finance, HR, Marketing and Sales Directors as well as CIOs / CTOs and a variety of other experienced professionals to build a Portfolio Executive workstyle. I have come to believe that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ answer to how big a company you should target for your services.
Winning and keeping clients: Capability Maturity diagnostic
As you start to engage with clients as a Portfolio Executive one of the key tools you need is a diagnostic to enable you to demonstrate the value you bring as early as possible in a relationship.
This article explores the three powerful way a diagnostic works for you:
Maintaining a part-time role
As I work with people building a Portfolio Executive workstyle, one of the biggest challenges I come across is “how do you maintain a role part-time?”. In this article I explore what is different from full-time and what stays the same.
How to use a diagnostic as an effective sales tool
As you start to identify clients, one of the things you need to do is establish a compelling reason for them to buy now. You want to build a long-term relationship, but most people won’t commit to a long-term relationship until they have worked with you.
You need to define your clients’ success
When you are building a portfolio executive workstyle, your client will want to be clear about the value and quality you bring. Demonstrating that clarity will be beneficial for you too and will help you keep the relationship going for as long you want.
Building the right networks as a Portfolio Executive
As a senior executive, you’ll have developed very good networking skills within your corporate environment. You were good at connecting with other senior leaders across your corporate structure, you’ll also have built networks with suppliers and customers.
Why you should consider the charity sector as part of your Portfolio Executive work style
Many of the people I talk to about their 2nd Half Careers are keen to make the second half count. They want to look back and see not only success but also significance for their lives, particularly their working lives.
How to demonstrate your value as a Portfolio Executive
If you’ve read our previous blogs, you’ll know about the benefits of this workstyle and career path and how you can build a portfolio of rewarding part-time executive positions. But to make this new world a reality, you have to be able to demonstrate the value you’ll bring to the clients who are going to be paying you.