Three habits that send consultants to the poorhouse

So what is a poorhouse?  According to the website, 19th century poorhouses were tax-supported residential institutions to which people were required to go if they could not support themselves. They were started as a method of providing a less expensive (to the taxpayers) alternative to what we would now days call “welfare” – what was called “outdoor relief” in those days.

This is the abandoned Knox County Poorhouse. Lovely.

People requested help from the community Overseer of the Poor ( sometimes also called a Poor Master) – an elected town official. If the need was great or likely to be long-term, they were sent to the poorhouse instead of being given relief while they continued to live independently. Sometimes they were sent there even if they had not requested help from the Overseer of the Poor. That was usually done when they were found guilty of begging in public.

Some days do you feel like you are headed for the poorhouse? It’s a shame for you not to make great money as a professional or consultant, when others do it so easily.  Of course not everyone is doing it with ease. Most professionals and consultants who have tried marketing on their own are frustrated by a lack of results. After trial and error they feel marketing is too time consuming, expensive or undignified.

So they adopt the simple, dignified and easy approach. Here are three habits they adopt, ones that you should avoid:

  1. Relying on networking to find enough clients
  2. Hoping referrals will produce enough revenue
  3. Depending on a single stream of income


Fortunately many are learning a better way to stay out of the poorhouse and head for the penthouse.  There is a proven process for marketing with integrity and getting an up to 400% to 2000% return on your marketing investment. At the New Client Marketing Institute we call it the Educating Expert Model.

Here are 10 Educating Expert habits to develop:

  • Turn e-mail addresses into gold with an e-mail subscription link. Offer prospective clients solid reasons for giving you permission to e-mail them; free reports, studies, white papers, or notifications of key Web site updates.  And of course, state clearly that subscribers can easily opt out of your list whenever they want.   
  • Educate potential clients about how to solve their problems in general. They will hire you as the proven expert to specifically apply your knowledge to their unique situation.
  • Build a bridge of trust by giving them valuable ideas on how to improve their business and their lives. Face-to-face seminars and speeches are best, then comes telephone seminars, online seminars and getting published as an author of a book. Being a book author opens many doors.
  • Hold free or low-cost small-scale seminars. The best proactive tactic you can employ is to regularly invite prospects by mail and e-mail to small seminars or group consultations.
  • Hold paid seminars and charge for your expertise. Sell information products like teleseminars, workbooks, CDs and DVDs.
  • Always collect e-mail addresses and send e-newsletters. By signing up for your newsletter lists, prospects are telling you that they are interested in what you have to say but not ready for a relationship now.
  •  Send e-mail prospects valuable how-to information and event invitations on a weekly basis until they decide to opt out of the list.
  • Attend networking events and trade shows. This is an excellent place to gather business cards and ask for permission to include them on your e-newsletter list.
  • Get involved in community groups and associations. Everyone likes to do business with people they know, like and trust.
  • Get how-to articles published in client-oriented press. Better than any brochure is the how-to article that appears in a publication that your target clients read. Book content can be recycled over and over again as article and blog content.

About Henry DeVries

Best-selling author and “marketing with a book” expert Henry DeVries is an authority on typing and talking: how to maximize revenues by writing books and making speeches. He speaks to thousands of business leaders, professionals, and consultants each year, teaching them successful tactics that shine a spotlight on their company, cause, or career. Along with his best-selling books — Self-Marketing Secrets, Client Seduction, Pain Killer Marketing, and How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett — the buzz-building tools of Henry DeVries have been used to dramatically increase revenues and leverage marketing budgets for two decades. He speaks to thousands of professionals and consultants each year, teaching them scientifically proven tactics that bring them new clients.

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