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Testimonials Sell

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As you know from radio, TV and newspaper ads, testimonials help sales efforts. People tend to believe outside, third parties. In this case, I'm attempting to open the door into a second division of a large company. The theme is "this worked extremely well for them, it will work extremely well for you"--and the testimonials prove it. It's essential to follow this kind of letter with a phone call.

April 6, 20—

Ms. Sally Rand
Manager, Human Resources
Trans National Healthcare
974 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, #300
Washington DC 20016

Dear Sally:

I recently spent four days leading a teambuilding project for the HR Department at Trans National in Denver. I spent one day interviewing each of the 17 people on staff. I used the material from these interviews to structure a two day training which we conducted in a mountain retreat.

The HR group at Trans National Healthcare in Denver was functioning very well as a group before the teambuilding. We were simply using the training as a form of preventive maintenance, to keep the organization tuned up.

Here are some comments from the final evaluations:

  • "Exceptional teambuilding. Very rewarding."

  • "Responsive and flexible to needs of group."

  • "Everyone related well with you."

  • "Very relaxing. Feel healthier than when I came."

  • "You have a good sense for when to facilitate and when to let things go. Your light hearted and humorous style really adds to the effect."

  • "You allowed us to lead ourselves."

  • "A very fun two days."

  • "Your warm up exercises were some of the best I've ever participated in; good use of prizes."

  • "Good, great job."

  • "You did a lot of preparation and it's appreciated."

  • "You're fun to be with and go well with the flow."

  • "You seem to be a friendly, caring person and well suited to the work you do!"

  • "This was certainly an exciting well planned teambuilding."

  • "You seem just like one of the HR Department, you fit in very well."

This teambuilding is something that might work well in your organization, either in the Human Resources Department or in other departments. I will be glad to discuss it further if you are interested.

With best wishes, always,

William S. Frank
WSF:kam [my initials: the word processor's initials]

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William S. Frank, M.A.,
25 Reasons I love consulting.
by William S. Frank
  1. Brand. You are your own brand, and you can define it any way you want. For many years, I provided outplacement to the ex-employees of Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield service corporation. When departing employees left the company, they didn't request outplacement in their severance package. They said, "I want Bill Frank."
  2. Demand. The world will always be full of terrible problems that need solving.
  3. White Hat. I can be a helper and get paid for it.
  4. Pay. I can be paid to do things I'd gladly do for nothing.
  5. Variety. Every day is different.
  6. Happiness. At this stage of my career, I only work for people I respect and care about. If a client micromanages me or is otherwise no fun, I complete the assignment and replace them.
  7. Talent. I'm using 110% of my talents and stretching myself to the max.
  8. Change. I can change my focus any day I want. If you're a McDonald's franchisee, you don't say, "Hey, I've got this great idea for a meatball sandwich—let's try it out today." In consulting you can adjust your focus hour-by-hour, as long as your clients still understand and appreciate what you do.
  9. Income. No one else would pay me as much as I pay myself.
  10. FUN. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.
  11. Retirement. I can write and consult as long as I am physically and mentally capable. Peter Drucker worked into his 90s, and when asked which book was his best, he said: "My next one."
  12. Job Security. Although clients come and go, no one can come into my office and say, "Pack up your stuff . . . You don't work here anymore." In 29 years, I've only had one employer: ME.
  13. Travel. I don't have to travel unless I decide to. I travel if it's both FUN and profitable—or at least FUN.
  14. Commute. I live five minutes from my office, a corner office in an upscale six-story tower. In winter, I leave a heated garage at home and drive to an underground heated garage at work. There's seldom time to hear even one song on the radio.
  15. Vacation. Consulting is more fun than vacation (except on Wailea Beach in Maui).
  16. Friends. I have developed hundreds of close acquaintances and several lifetime friends.
  17. Time. I can work as much or as little as I like: four-hour days or 18-hour days. (Of course, my income will reflect that.)
  18. Employees. I can work with employees, subcontractors, partners, or alone—I've done it all.
  19. Passive Income. I've developed several products that provide "mailbox money." I earn while I'm sleeping.
  20. Ethics. I've never had to violate my values or personal code of ethics. I've never had to lie, purposely deceive or harm others, or promise things I can't deliver. I go to bed with a clear conscience. That doesn't mean there's never any conflict. But the conflict is conducted according to generally accepted business practices.
  21. Virtual. My career is fairly portable. With the Internet, e-mail, cell phone, and FedEx, I can work nationally, even internationally from my office—or anywhere in the world.
  22. Purpose. I make a difference in peoples' lives every day. I see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, and read it in their thank-yous.
  23. Experience. Every painful or joyful life experience makes me a better consultant. So does every person I meet or book I read. Grey hair can be good in consulting.
  24. Structure. I have to work very hard, and the clients expect superb results—but I get to structure my days, weeks, months, and years.
  25. Boss. Most of the time, I love my boss.
As I was posting these letters online, I realized I want to communicate my love for consulting. It's just a great business. The single letters, taken together, may create a picture of enjoyment, but in a burst of creativity I listed some of the reasons consulting is such a good fit for me—and perhaps for you, too. They are not prioritized; this is just how they came out.