The Consulting Lead Gen Study

We’re working on a research project aimed at highlighting how consulting firms acquire new clients. It’ll be a publicly available resource we’ll provide back to the market.

The Goal: Develop an applicable understanding of how consulting firms of various sizes (by headcount) and levels of specialization acquire new clients, and whether what they’re doing for marketing and lead generation is working (or not).

Why: To help principals and firms better navigate their lead generation decisions. To deepen our expertise so that we can better advise clients and prospects.

What: We’ll publish a V1 report that establishes a “lay of the land” and highlights interesting and useful patterns extracted from interviews with principals and founders.

When: By mid October 2019.

Status: Guidebook Version 0.2 is currently with the designer being formatted.


If you run a consulting firm and are willing to contribute 5 minutes of your time, we’d love to include your insights. 

Your answers will inform the study, but will be kept 100% anonymous unless otherwise noted. (If you’d like us to feature your firm, we’d be happy to. There’s a spot to indicate that.)

Survey participants will also receive an early version of the results and Version 1 report.


referrals and networking dominate

Finding 5: Referrals and networking dominate

Right into the next CLG Study finding… Referrals and networking were listed most frequently as the primary client acquisition methods firms employed (55% and 26% respectively). And when asked here’s what some of the firms had to say about it: …

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High Value, Low Volume Lead Gen (Two More CLG Findings)

So just last month we enrolled our daughter (upon her own request) in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. It’s super fun because she’s not even four yet… So along with her similar-aged classmates, most of the experience involves some light tugging and throwing …

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The trouble with consulting sales cycles

Speaking of the difficulties involved in selling ideas, consulting sales cycles are long. I know… NEWS FLASH! But this was a question I wanted to put some numbers to. Here’s how the CLG Study participants answered: Almost all of the …

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The Selling Ideas Problem

Alright, let’s recap. Last week we established that most consulting firms haven’t quite solved the lead generation problem. One reason this may be the case is a lack of transparency into what works and what doesn’t. Another may be related …

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The Revenue Roller Coaster Problem

Aside from the transparency problem we discussed yesterday… Another (and I think more significant) contributor to the difficulties consulting firms experience with lead generation is what we’re calling The Revenue Roller Coaster Problem. It goes something like this: Principals are …

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Survey-first market research (a CLG Study update)

It’s been a few weeks since the last Consulting Lead Gen Study research methodology update… And I’ve made a few changes. Primarily: I’ve switched over to survey-first LinkedIn outreach (which has been helpful now that I have a fairly standardized …

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Custom (Yet Scalable) Market Research Outreach: The Details, Part 2

Okay, here’s Part 2 of the dive-into-the-weeds details of the research outreach email campaign I’m sending. Yesterday’s Part 1 video covered cohort setup (how I selected, cleaned, and organized the first group of prospects). Today’s video covers: How I’ve built …

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Custom (Yet Scalable) Market Research Outreach: The Details, Part 1

Last week, after I outlined how I’m conducting the interview outreach for my lead generation research project, I received a few questions asking for additional details. So I decided to record some more of the nitty-gritty as I’m going about …

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market research cold outreach map

Market Research Outreach: How I’m sending customized (yet scalable) cold outreach emails

Yesterday I introduced the set of interview questions that I’m aiming to get answered in the exploratory phase of this research project I’m pursuing. And so today I figured I’d talk through, more pragmatically, how I’m approaching that outreach process. …

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consulting market insight questions arc

Consulting Market Insight: What questions should I ask?

Within the next week or so, I’m going to be kicking off the “Phase 1” interview outreach I mentioned yesterday. My goal is to ask some open-ended questions that will hopefully lead to a slew of mind-bending “aha” moments… Or …

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