Keys to Successful Consulting

Last night I attended a Career forum on Consulting Insights which was facilitated by the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).  My goal of attending this session was firstly to learn more about being a consultant, and secondly to network with people who could potentially become a client, peer or supplier.

I have come away from this forum excited about what I do, and how I can keep improving my own skills.  Let me give you some keys which I have come away with.

Keys to successful Consulting:

  1. Value Relationships: your supervisor is your future, do not burn any bridges.
  2. Good listening skills: to understand what the real problem is and how the client is experiencing this problem.
  3. Be humble: when facilitating a solution, allow the client to take credit for your solution.
  4. Keep up to date with current trends.
  5. Avoid “Gee Whiz” , meaning you provide complex solutions which can be simplified, into understandable and workable solutions to your client.
  6. Build Trust : you do this by giving honest advice.
  7. Keep networking, online and offline.
  8. Watch you web reputation, be aware of what you are posting on your Twitter and Facebook status.
  9. Know what you know – take time to do an assessment of your skills and abilities, then you know what you can offer.
  10. There is no honeymoon period – You do not have the time to find your feet – you are hired as a consultant, being paid a premium fee, you are not gaining your learning on the client’s clock.
  11. Be innovative.
  12. Be authentic – know who you are and like who you are.

 

My second goal was to network with new people.  Well this was the scary part for me at first – but it became easier after the first conversation.  “Admin without Borders – what do you do?”  My elevator speech was prepared in advance.  I look at it every day so that I know how to present myself in 30 seconds.  After my brief introduction, the response which followed was, “Oh, that is what we need, do you have a business card?”

 

I left this forum with a huge smile, a dance in my step, and more knowledge. The real secret is to apply what you know, otherwise it is just information, and it will not really make a difference in your situation.