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Business Building

How to Make New Year’s Resolutions That Stick
by Chris Taylor

New year’s resolutions. Depending on which study you read, most of them fail. So why do we keep doing them? I want to give you some tips on increasing the likelihood that you will realize lasting change.

Never Stop Learning: Author Interview with Bradley R. Staats
by Chris Taylor

To stay relevant, you need to keep learning. We interviewed Professor Bradley R. Staats, who teaches us how to do this more effectively in his book Never Stop Learning.

Framing the Conversation Around What You Sell
by Chris Taylor

If you’re in the business of selling a service, it’s time to frame the conversation around what you ultimately sell to your client.

Annual Planning Starts With Reflection
by Chris Taylor

Here are a few tips and concepts on how to make the most of any reflection or planning you do during this magical time of the year.

The Most Lucrative Meeting in your Program
by Chris Taylor

How do I get off the treadmill of trading time for dollars?   How do I scale my impact?   How do I grow my business without bringing on a bunch of employees or contractors? Asked a number of different ways, this may be the most common question I hear from established consultants and trainers: How do […]

The 4-Phases of Growing a Consulting Firm
by Chris Taylor

Over 14 years I’ve had the pleasure of literally thousands of conversations* with consultants, facilitators, trainers and coaches, at every stage of their journey and every size from solo to multi-national. It’s been interesting to see patterns emerge; specific questions and problems raised from the spectrum. We go through a fascinating evolution of four phases […]

Win More Proposals with a 3-Tier Value Proposition
by Chris Taylor

As learning practitioners, we care about our content.  We care about our program participants and their experience. We care about creating impact. But if you had to prioritize, which one matters to you most?  As, if not more importantly, which one matters most to your client? Working with over 100 active consultants to help them […]

Capturing the Hearts and Minds of the C-Suite
by Chris Taylor

As a leadership consultant, oftentimes you’re selling into the HR or Learning & Development (L&D) function within the organization.  And, logically, when you’re selling into HR you’re addressing HR’s needs.  HR’s needs are often driven by content, however and, by extension, how they measure program success – usually revolve around “participant satisfaction” and “knowledge retention”. […]

Increase your Client’s Program Budget by Aligning to Strategic Priorities
by Chris Taylor

A couple years ago, a consultant we were working with – let’s call him Jayson – was asked to submit a proposal for a leadership development program. They also told him they had a program budget of ~$80k. Two months later, Jayson had a signed contract.  Not for an $80k Leadership Program, but a $450k, […]

How to Scale Beyond Your Time
by Chris Taylor

Let’s talk about scaling beyond your time: the holy grail of consulting and training firms. First, we need to address some of the invisible pitfalls where many of us get stuck. At Actionable, we’ve developed a model called the Insight-Action Flywheel to analyze onsite engagement. Using this four-point model, we help consultants look at the […]

You’re Not Charging Enough
by Chris Taylor

You’re not charging enough for your consulting services. At Actionable, we can say this to you with an exceptionally high degree of confidence. How can we know this? We’ve worked with thousands of consultants over the last fifteen years, and we know what folks are charging. If you are a sole practitioner or part of […]

The Anchor Metric – What is the C-Suite’s Ultimate End Game?
by Chris Taylor

As a course facilitator or consultant, if you want longevity in what you deliver,  you need a strategy for elevating your clients’ perception of you beyond “content provider.”  How?  By knowing the C-Suite’s desired outcome, or, what we’ll call your anchor metric.  The goal is to know what the leadership team cares about, and asking […]

Have Clients Prioritize Your Programs By Asking This Question
by Chris Taylor

Here’s a question that consultants get a lot:  “Can you build a leadership program for us?”  And on the flip side, here’s a question that consultants don’t usually ask in return:  “Why?” While you absolutely need to know the answer to your client’s “why,” asking the question curtly can seem uncouth.  So instead, consultants tend […]

Remember Everest When Planning Your Programs
by Chris Taylor

Here’s a fascinating—if somewhat macabre—statistic about Mount Everest: of all the people who have died while summiting Everest, 82 percent have died on the way back down the mountain, not on the way up. Consider this in the greater context of goal setting, orientation, and accomplishment. We tend to place so much focus on reaching […]

How to Know if Your Pricing Structure Captures Your True Value
by Chris Taylor

Here at Actionable, we see a wide range of pricing models employed by consultancies. It’s worth contemplating – what pricing structure are you using for your services, and are you capturing the true value of your services through that structure? Consider this: A consultant who is a friend of Actionable—let’s call him “Jim”—charges $50,000 per […]

How One Question Can Change Your Business Decisions
by Chris Taylor

Are you an impact-focused consultant? Is your driving mission to create lasting, demonstrable change inside your client’s organization? If the answer is a resounding yes, I want to introduce you to two words soon to become the most powerful words in your vocabulary.  So. What. You received a 9/10 average approval rating on your feedback […]

Are You Creating Customers for Life?
by Shawn Shepheard

Think about the last 12 hours: how many times did you experience the push to buy a product or service? From television commercials, radio ads, newspaper and magazine ads, emails asking you to join their list, to your server at the restaurant trying to up sell you on dessert or that fancy coffee—I’m willing to […]

Actionable Strategic Plans — How to Help Your Clients Succeed
by Chris Taylor

The pace of change continues to accelerate, but most organizations continue to use the same processes and tools to implement their strategic plans.

Turning Individual Learning into Organization Wide Change
by Sara Saddington

Enter Actionable. We help busy, successful coaches and consultants scale their impact and create lasting behavior change for their clients.

Meet the ACP — What Our Network Is Saying
by Sara Saddington

We work with some of the smartest consultants in the business. We want to improve the world of work for everyone—our network of partners helps us do that.

Smooth Sailing: Leveraging the Cadence of Your Business
by Lora Crestan

When you leverage the cadence of your business, you can understand when it’s quieter than usual and work on your business instead of only in it.

Our Best Reads for Thriving in Change
by Sara Saddington

The world of work is changing rapidly. These changes can be viewed as a challenge, or an opportunity—but one thing is certain: change is the new constant.

Get Unstuck — Developing an Agile Mindset
by Sara Saddington

Organizations today need an agile mindset to thrive in the business landscape, which is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.

Turn Your Halo Effect Into A Superpower
by Lora Crestan

In order to find the time it takes to work on your business—your growth, strategy, and goals—you need to reflect on your halo effect, and supercharge it.

Certainty Sells—The Confidence For Getting to Yes
by Sara Saddington

Certainty in your offering feeds the trust equation. It helps you establish reliability. We know that certainty sells, so ask for the sale with confidence.

You Can Lead a Horse to Water: How to Effectively Influence Others
by Catherine Harrison

One of the most effective ways to influence another person, is to enable them to arrive at their own insights when faced with a goal, challenge or issue.

Build Your Brand — Social Media for Consultants
by Cristina Melnik

Here are my favorite tactics for making the most out of social media, boosting your online presence, and ultimately, cultivating relationships that convert.

Postcard From the Platform: Conversations Drive Business Outcomes
by Sara Saddington

The user wrote this simple equation: greater employee engagement = greater ownership of the business as their business, higher productivity, and higher performance.

How to Build a Consulting Brand
by Anna Schmohe

Your brand is the identity of your business—and it requires thoughtful and strategic development.

Is Your Brand Limiting Business Growth?
by Alyssa Burkus

It’s important to take some time to analyze key elements of your brand, and reflect on where changes might be needed as you build your business growth plans.

How to Ask the Right Questions, and Craft Pitches that Sell
by Sara Saddington

Use these tactics to maximize productivity when you are getting to know prospective clients, close more sales, and get to work providing solutions that have positive impact.

Actionable Consultant Jean Brown on TotalPicture Radio
by Sara Saddington

Actionable Conversations provides the tools for leaders to have more meaningful conversations with their team that result in measurable behavior change.

Stop Underestimating your Clients
by Lora Crestan

Your clients are smart people. They know you, trust you and value what you bring to them and their organization. They look to you as the expert in their development and growth.

What Do Your Clients Need?
by Sara Saddington

The best way to create initiatives that address a true need and provide demonstrable ROI is to tie your service to a specific problem or pain point and associated metric.

Actionable Tactics for Sustainable Business Building
by Sara Saddington

We’ve pulled together some of our most actionable insights to inspire you to shake things up and grow your business.

Postcard From the Platform: Paper Reduction Initiative Saves Big
by Sara Saddington

Postcards from the Platform is a new series designed to showcase the transformative power of the Actionable Conversations Platform.

Be the Bad Guy — Why Your Clients Need Tough Love
by Lora Crestan

In many coaching sessions with clients, we discover obstacles together. Sometimes these obstacles are people, processes, or even the client themselves.

Creating Killer Growth: Our Best Content from 2016
by Sara Saddington

Since launching our series of new public websites in early September, we’ve published some great content from an amazing crew of talented and thought-provoking writers.

Coaching the Coaches
by Lora Crestan

At Actionable, I am an Integration Coach, which basically means I spend my days coaching the coaches. While the context has shifted, from coaching my own clients to coaching the coaches, the same principles apply.

8 Essential Conversations Your Clients Need to Have with Their Teams
by Sara Saddington

Are your clients struggling to create a great organizational culture? We have created an infographic of 8 types of conversations to help your clients build stronger levels of employee engagement.

How Asking for Help Transformed my Work
by Jodi Hosking

I made a daily commitment to ask for help from the people around me, both in my personal and professional life. It sounds simple, but the insights I gathered through the process were a revelation.

Hope is Not a Strategy
by Lora Crestan

I am calling you out, coaches and consultants. Time to treat your business as you expect your clients to treat theirs—with intentional thought, and with focus and clarity about what will drive the results you want to deliver.

Craft Stories to Sell More Effectively
by Nikki Barrett

Our brains are wired to process the world around us through stories. By harnessing the power of a great story, you can improve your sales pitches, persuade your customers, and engage your employees.

3 Books to Help you Grow your Business
by Alyssa Burkus

We have curated a list of three summaries from ActionableBooks to help you grow your business and increase revenue—without increasing the number of hours you work in a day.

Are you Making Money by Accident?
by Lora Crestan

While most entrepreneurs are core to their business or practice, the need to designate focused time to planning, thinking, and reviewing the business is even more critical.

Building Your Business: Creative Approaches to Growth
by Sara Saddington

We have curated a list of 3 summaries from Actionable Books to help you think creatively about business growth.

What To Read To Drive Business Growth
by Andy Budgell

We know driving growth in your business can be an ongoing challenge. We’ve curated summaries of recent books that can help.

How To Grow Your Business? Ask Yourself Some Difficult Questions.
by Shawn Shepheard

Growing your business might mean heading in new directions that scare you. And that’s a good thing.

Building a Sustainable Business
by Louise Davis

In conversation with independent consultants, the topic that gets a lot of airtime is how to build a sustainable consulting business?