|You are a consultant. You might not even know it but it is unarguable fact. The moment you were asked for an advice you have become a consultant. Cool! I am a consultant? Sounds like lots of fun. Yeah, fun, but first listen to Gerald M. Weinberg’s The Number One Secret as he puts it in his book||
by Mykl Roventine
Consulting ain’t as easy as it looks
If so, who wants to be a consultant? Do I? Do you? To answer this question I decided to ask few more:
- Do you like solving problems in the field?
- Do you like meeting lots of different people?
- Do you like to be exposed to tons of challenging situations?
- Hate cubicles?
- Do you possess some sort of expertise?
- Are you a go-to-person for the expertise?
- Do you like sharing your practices and insights with the world?
- Do you hate 9 to 5 thing?
As long as I kept saying Yes to each of the questions I became more and more comfortable of the idea of becoming a consultant.
I am consultant these days. I love consulting. My favorite part is that I am not framed by 9-5, and I learn tons of new so called soft skills – such as Influence Without Authority, for example. It involves different techniques, tactics, and strategies where the end goal is making the customer happy while staying within the budget and time.
See the difficulty Weinberg stresses with his The Number One Secret?:
- The customer has high expectations.
- You have no authority.
- You have limited time.
- You have limited budget.
To succeed under such conditions is not that easy. Here is the first lesson I have learned – Practice Emotional Intelligence. Remember, your goal is make the customer happy, not to prove you are right and the customer wrong (by the way, this is a common trap consultants fall and lose their customers). Get it? Good.
“People will pay more to be entertained that they will pay to be educated.” – Johnny Carson
Practice This – Get Results
- Under-promise, over-deliver – the easiest way to exceed expectations and win customers’ heart.
- Ask your previous customers for testimonies – best way to get credibility and authority with new customers.
- Practice Time Management – deliver on time and on budget, avoid disappointments.