Deep consulting is an intensive, but time-limited, consulting program where I work closely with the company to do a thorough analysis of their business and design strategic solutions to some of their most important business challenges. Deep Consulting is offered over a minimum of six months and can last for up to two years depending on the size of an organization. The only variables are size and depth.
The longer the program that a company chooses, the more depth we can explore and the more comprehensive the resulting strategy will be.
Here’s how it works…
Deep Consulting Program
The program consists of three stages conducted across six disciplines of the business.
The three stages are…
- Inquiry, Audit, and Analysis
We begin with assessing what already exists and contrast that against where we seek to go.
- Strategy & Process Design
The assessment will inform the plan.
- Implementation & Training
The plan is then put into action.
Change is the result of awareness, planning, and action. This approach is not new or novel, it’s just effective. What makes this program incredibly valuable, is the application of these three stages across the six chosen disciplines and the resulting alignment across the business.
The Six Disciplines
Facts about the company, your team, and your goals.
Meaning, Messaging, and Differentiation.
The people and philosophies that drive results, growth, and retention.
“How it is around here” and what that means for the company’s future.
How are you telling a story that drives awareness and interest?
The solution you provide and how you ensure the right people buy it.
What Is “Deep Consulting” and Who Is It For?
Because of the amount of time and energy that goes into this work, I am only able to take on a small number of consulting clients each year. As a result, I am very selective about the organizations that I choose to work with.
This is your first test. The following section is exactly 545 words long. I have carefully written this to describe what this offering is, who it is for, and why it exists. If you decide that you cannot be bothered to read something that takes approximately 2 minutes, then deep consulting is not for you.
Maybe you think you have a Marketing problem. Worse yet, you may even think you have a more specific problem: Social Media. The truth is that when a company thinks they have one of those problems, they often have a much deeper and more consequential situation that is being overlooked.
When any aspects of the business are operating out-of-sync, problems are sure to manifest. When these problems inevitably arise, businesses are more likely to notice the symptoms rather than the underlying root causes.
No function of business operates in isolation.
It’s not your fault. Seeing your business from the inside is virtually impossible. You’re too close to it. It’s like trying to see your own face. In order to do that, you would need a mirror.
I am that mirror.
Over the course of my 10-year career in Social Media, nearly every Social Media problem I was brought in to fix revealed a larger Marketing problem…which revealed a deeper Brand problem, which ultimately revealed a business misalignment problem. These problems didn’t just impact how a business represents itself online. The implications touched messaging, sales, customer experience, recruitment, employee engagement, employee retention, and even leadership. I have seen this pattern repeated again and again. It is the reason why I got out of working exclusively on social media and starting working with businesses to address the true underlying cause of their problems.
The truth is, if these underlying problems did not exist, then neither would the symptoms you’re trying to address. A business that is operating in complete alignment has absolutely no use for social media consulting and the best that any agency can offer them is higher quality content. It all comes back to the beginning: what are you here to do and how does that business purpose connect to each and every function of your organization?
How your business makes money defines what your organization really is.
I don’t just mean how you collect money, I mean every aspect of how:
- How do you position yourself in the marketplace against the competition?
- How do you train your leaders?
- How do you treat your team members?
- How do you talk to your customers?
- How do you deal with obstacles and challenges?
The answer to these questions, and thousands of others, are the connective tissue that binds your organization together around a common set of ideas.
…and you’ve probably never asked yourself these questions.
You, like most companies, probably got up and running, maybe a few years ago, maybe a century ago, and haven’t done this sort of self-reflection since, or possibly ever.
You can do better. I can help. My deep consulting program is for the business that is ready to temporarily slow down in order to finally “get their ducks in a row.”
How many years are you going to keep building this car while it’s on the road? How many more years do you think you’ll be able to keep winging it? Wouldn’t it be better to FINALLY get that clarity you’ve been dreaming about?
It’s time your business decided who it wants to be. Because finding out the answer to that question will be a catalyst for a domino effect that transforms every aspect of your business.
Since you’ve made it this far, here are the specifics of the program.Still going? Good, because it’s really important to me that if you inquire about this, that you fully understand what this offering is all about.
The core of this program revolves around inquiry. I will be asking a tremendous number of questions about varying aspects of your business. The answers to these questions provide the raw materials needed to create a cohesive strategy that aligns with every aspect of your business. From there, we discuss real, practical steps you can take to implement the necessary changes without disruption to your business.
Let’s go through what each part of the program consists of.
To start with, I’m going to look at your business.
- I’ll want to know how you make money, what products and/or services you offer, and who your competitors are.
- I’ll dig into your products and services including your profit margin, costs of goods and/or cost of labor.
- I’ll want to know your cost of acquisition of a new customer and your close ratio (leads-to-sales).
- I’ll want to know more about your teams and your team members. Who does what? Who are your superstars and who needs help?
- I’ll want to look at your processes and documentation
- I’ll want to understand your salaries and benefits, and how you invest in your people outside of those two factors
- I’ll want to know who your vendors are, and who you consider strategic partners.
I’ll be looking into all of these aspects of your business and a lot more. In short, I want to know everything about the way your business runs, and how money flows through the business.
Your brand isn’t just your logo, fonts, and colors. That is just your visual brand standards. The brand answers an important question:
Who are you?
Really though, who are you? What is your purpose? It’s not just to make money because that’s not a purpose, that’s just the table stakes of being in business.
During our brand inquiry I will be looking at your brand assets like fonts, logos and colors, but more importantly, I want to look at your editorial guidelines, your core messages, and how you implement your mission and values throughout the organization. As my friend Lindsay Pedersen says in her book Forging An Iron Clad Brand: “Brand is your North Star.”
That means that we need to get serious about who you are and what you stand for. Because your brand is going to be the filter for who you hire and who you fire, including clients. It’s going to be the guiding force behind everything from which social networks you use to how you price your services. It’s going to be the words that come out of the mouths of every single employee from the CEO to the Intern.
This is the brand conversation that is the antithesis of every arbitrary conversation about “which shade of blue should our logo be.” It’s the one where we make consequential decisions that inform every aspect of the business.
Who are the leaders in your company?
…did you say EVERYONE? Because if you didn’t, you may have a leadership problem.
When you truly come to understand the traits of great leaders, you realize that it’s not a title but a mindset, and it needs to permeate every person in your company. In this phase, I’ll be working with you to uncover how you currently support the growth of leadership skills at all levels of the organization.
I will start with people in formalized leadership roles. I’ll analyze their team performance and learn about their unique challenges. Next, I’ll survey individual team members who are not in formal leadership roles to better understand what their experiences are like with regard to the company’s leadership.
I’ll be looking at the diversity of your leadership teams. Are you creating an environment of inclusion where the representation of diverse people signal that leadership opportunities are available to all?
Together, we’ll talk through how leaders are expected to set and manage goals, how they are expected to communicate with their team members, and how leaders motivate their teams.
Throughout this entire process of audit and inquiry, the goal is to find the gaps so that you can build and implement a plan that results in an extraordinary organization of effective leaders.
All of this work is based on my forthcoming book The Lovable Leader.
Your culture answers a very basic question:
What is it like to work here?
Your culture touches on such a wide variety of things that it would be difficult to list every single one of them. Here are just a few that we will look into in our work together.
- Who gets promoted and who gets acknowledged?
- What behaviors are encouraged?
- What are our values?
- What can I get away with here?
- Do my leaders care about me?
- What does our business care about?
- Do I feel safe here?
- Do I want to stay here for my entire career?
Your culture is a direct representation of your brand and your leadership intersecting. Your culture affects your ability to attract and retain talent. It is the variable that sets the limit of your organization’s true potential.
While culture is not something that can be controlled, it is something that can be influenced. What you encourage and what you allow matter. Who you hire and who you fire matter.
During this phase of our work together we uncover what it is like to work at your company and if what we find is not what we want, then we create the path to get where we want to go.
This is where it all comes together. It is only after I have looked at your business, understood what your brand is all about, examined how your leaders guide their team and analyzed how your culture supports your various business endeavors that I can properly look at your marketing. Marketing is not a function separate from the rest of the business, it is the megaphone that amplifies what exists.
In this phase of our work together we will look at every single marketing tactic you have employed over the last three years. We will look at what has worked and what has not worked. We will analyze your customer personas. We will review your analytics data.
Once we are done reviewing every nook and cranny of your marketing function, I will ensure that the work that we have done together to understand your business, your brand, and your culture fit together into a cohesive and persuasive marketing approach the drives the business and it’s mission forward. Today there is functionally no difference between a digital marketing strategy and a marketing strategy. Everything today must include digital and it all must be tightly integrated.
There must be a confluence, the point where every strategy and tactic are tightly woven together. To build this machine is not easy and it requires careful planning and resource allocation. But, if you do it correctly, you can build a marketing machine that over time will drive costs down and increase revenue automatically.
At the conclusion of this part of the program you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt what marketing tactics you should use and which you should avoid, along with how each of them connect to and support one another.
No business can exist without sales. In this phase of our work together we examine your sales process from start to finish.
- How long does a sale take? Are there opportunities to shorten that?
- What is the average sale price? Are there opportunities to improve that?
- Who is your best salesperson? What makes them so much more effective?
- What is your sales process?
- Are your salespeople using social media effectively?
- What about messaging? Do your salespeople follow the same messaging as your marketing folks?
These are just a few of the questions we need to ask to better understand the potential of your sales function and design a plan to get your solution into the hands of more customers.
I will analyze past performance, and the current process to help you design a more efficient and effective sales function, informed by marketing and brand excellence.
Is this what you need?
By now you have read through nearly 2,250 words. My hope is that you have enough of an understanding to determine if this program is something you may need.
If not, thanks for reading. But if it is, I would love to talk to you about it. Please fill out this form and we will schedule our first call.