nonprofit consulting zone blog

You’ll Be Shocked To Hear Who Your Nonprofit Consulting Competitor Is

You’ll Be Shocked To Hear Who Your Nonprofit Consulting Competitor Is

The consulting world, and maybe in consulting to nonprofits more than anywhere else, your competition may not be the consultant the next door. While you might go “head-to-head” with a fellow consultant for a job or two through the year, chances are if you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’re getting calls through referrals and networking which means that you often don’t bid against other firms.

So who is your biggest competitor? Your client.

Think about the work you do. Is it absolutely brand-new to the organization? Chances are not. Much of the work we do as consultants to nonprofits are jobs that they have already done before but either don’t find time to do now, want to do better, or for which they need a different perspective. If they didn’t hire you, they probably do the work themselves.

On the upside, it’s great not to have another service provider standing in the wings in case you bid the job too high, or they simply liked the other person’s smile better than yours. On the downside, since the alternative to spending money on you is to spend nothing, there's a pressure on your fee structure and your approach to the work.

What’s a consultant to do?

Sell your value. Your job is to prove to your client that they can’t do the job that you will. What do you offer in experience, in abilities, and in the soft skills that they will simply not have were they to give up the opportunity to work with you? In short, what’s your message? Whatever you do, they can’t.

Selling your value takes familiarity with your client’s mission and communicating how you offer value to that mission. Yes, you can put information like that on paper, but it is much better when supplemented with conversations and third-party recommendations. Your ability to build a relationship with the client makes it major difference in their seeing the value in bringing you on board. They need to see you as an essential part of their team to address their mission.

So when you think of your competition and what they’re doing, relax. It’s not the competition you think it is, and they’re certainly not the ones you need to understand better. Your times better spent focusing on your clients and potential clients so that you can be a valuable resource that they can’t do without.

Want more? Go to ThinkNP.com, today: the fastest way to the right nonprofit clients and increased income, all while impacting their mission.

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Published by

Matt Hugg

Matt's the president of Nonprofit.Courses. See his bio here.