How to Not Be an Awful Consultant

It turns out that what customers want from Wal-Mart and Amazon is eerily similar to what clients want from consultants.

There’s no better way at this than to start with a list what customers want. And the best list I’ve ever found comes from the Rain Group and summarized in Forbes here.

Let’s go down the list, quoting the ten items from Forbes and adding comments:

  1. Bring New Perspectives and Ideas – You need to ask good questions and plumb the depths of your knowledge and experience
  2. Be Willing to Collaborate – You can’t solve problems without your clients involved every step of the way
  3. Have Confidence In Your Ability to Achieve Results – You have to believe in yourself and in your process if you want your clients to believe
  4. Listen, Really Listen, to the Customer – Listen for news you can both use and take notes
  5. Understand ALL the Customer’s Needs – Get beyond stated needs to unstated ones
  6. Help the Customer Avoid Potential Pitfalls – Kill risk dead
  7. Craft a Compelling Solution – Now it’s time for strategy and tactics; there’s a reason this comes at #7
  8. Communicate the Purchasing Process – In the world of consulting, offer the client options
  9. Connect Personally With the Customer – Get in touch and stay in touch during the engagement
  10. Provide Value That’s Superior to Other Options – Sometimes this means solving the right problem at moment, knowing other problems will shift as you solve the ones before it

Notice what’s not on the list: The lowest price. If you as a consultant are focusing on the items in this list, your prospects will know.

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