100 words to each discussion (2 discussion )
Avoid being Indispensable to Clients
Indispensability – building permanent relationships with customers – comes with certain limitations (Newton, 2020). For example, having one client makes you dependent on them. Consulting engagements end at some point. If your client terminates consulting engagements, you may not be able to cope with your new situation.
Understand the Personal Interests of Clients
Different clients have different reasons for seeking consulting services. A consultant who understands the consulting needs and interests of his clients is able to decide how best to assist them. Try to determine if the personal interests of your client are aligned to the overall organizational needs (Newton, 2020).
Give Clients Credit where They Deserve
Sometimes consultants may be tempted to focus only on what their clients are doing wrongly. A consultant that does this to his clients risks being perceived as ignorant, and arrogance in consultancy is unpleasant and unwarranted (Newton, 2020). When dealing with chief executive officers of big firms, for example, it is important to bear in mind that they would not be in their positions if they did everything the wrong way. Give advice and constructive criticism where it is needed.
Win the Trust of your Clients
The goal of any consultant should be to win the trust of clients. While confidence and charisma can be helpful, some clients may be wary of consultants who are over confident and over charismatic. Be humble, take things slowly and win their trust (Newton, 2020).
Do not preach water and drink wine; lead by example. Your advice may seem insincere if you advice you clients to do things in a certain way and act differently yourself. This can make you lose the confidence of your client (Newton, 2020).
Implementing the above Tips
If I was a client, the best was I would implement the above consultancy tips is to first “walk the talk”. I would ensure that I apply the same advice within my own organization, and assure my clients that I would be available to assist along the way. If I want my client to be trustworthy, I would ensure I am trustworthy myself. In other words, I will ensure that I do not give my clients advice that I am not able to follow myself.
In this discussion, I will discuss some tips that would be useful to a consultant during his professional career. The best tip for any consultant is to be inquisitive, have an eye for detail, and be always ready to learn from their experiences. For each of the tips discussed, I would explain why this tip is more beneficial than others and how it can be implemented to improve consultants’ work.
Tip #1: Manage your engagement timescale from day one.
Time management has a multiplicative effect. Proper time management allows you to accomplish more in a short period, providing extra time for learning opportunities. It lowers stress and helps you focus, which leads to more career success. If we are ready from day one and understand how to use our time effectively, we can accomplish more with less effort. This leads to improved decision-making ability, leading to the successful execution of the project.
Tip #2: Do not make yourself indispensable to a client.
It’s a good idea to be extremely reliable and volunteer for critical projects for the clients; however, it has its cons. Although it will save you time in unprofitable and time-consuming business development, being indispensable differs from being essential. Being indispensable also means that you are not easily replaceable if you want to take off sometimes. The value of the indispensable is determined by how much it would cost if they leave (Fortier, 2018). Being an essential person for your client helps create new opportunities for themselves and others around them.
Tip #3: Give your clients the credit they deserve.
I immensely love this tip because, as a consultant, it helps me become humble. As experts in our field, consultants think their clients are not intelligent enough to know what they specialize in. This brews arrogance among consultants. Nevertheless, we need to understand that our client and his need are that we have an opportunity to utilize our skills. So, we should give the clients the credit of creating scope for a consultant to join their organization.
Tip #4: Client trust is more important than charisma.
Charisma, confidence, and communication skills are essential for a consultant, and someone lacking this might not be able to break the ice with the clients. However, a client is looking for trustworthy people, a person they can rely on day in, day out. Thus, building that trust factor with the client is of utmost importance.
Tip #5: Manage your relationship with client staff sensitively.
The client staff are not just a resource that you can utilize for your engagements; rather, they are a communication channel between the client and the consultant. Their perception about you can influence how the client sees or thinks about you and your work ethics. It is always good to have a healthy working relationship with the client staff for the smooth and successful completion of your project with the client.
Tip #6: Be clever; don’t just look it.
Clients are indeed impressed by immaculate reports and excellent graphic presentations; however, that is just a part of it. Just looking good and presenting superbly is not enough. This can not be used to hide the lack of knowledge and expertise. So, to become a good consultant, you need to look intelligent as well as think intellectually.
Tip #7: Knowing ‘what’ is useful, knowing ‘how’ is valuable.
As a consultant knowing what should be done is just a quarter of your job. What is essential is knowing how to do it. With the advancement in technology, even an amateur can find out a solution for client issues. So, why should the client hire skilled talent? This is because the consultant provides the client with not just a solution but also a process to utilize the solution to fulfill their requirements.