Your customers may need assurance that you not only have the skills to help them, but that you understand their needs. Show them, and you can make the sale.
Offer a free consultation. Meet with the client to learn about them and see how you might be able to help them. Start by listening as they talk. Ask questions, take notes. Then, use what you have learned to propose the products and services that will be best for them.
Put on a free workshop. Invite clients and potential clients to hear information that will show them that you are the expert in your field. For example, one consulting firm did a survey of trends in health care costs and presented the results as a half-day seminar.
Publish a white paper. White papers typically cover a specific topic in some depth. They may be sold, or you may give them away as proof of your expertise. Many white papers are now offered as downloads, rather than printed on paper. If you choose this route, make sure requestors have to register so you have their names and other contact information to follow up with them later.
Publish articles and case studies in trade magazines and journals. Not only will the articles present you effectively to potential customers, you can use reprints of the articles in your proposals and press kits.
Offer yourself as an expert to the media. Editors and producers are always seeking sources they can turn to on stories. Send a letter outlining your credentials to media, along with a list of topics on which you can assist. You may find yourself turning up on the news in no time!