When it comes to consulting, it's essential to understand the qualities that make a good consultant. Companies hire consultants because they expect them to have more knowledge or experience than internal teams or company personnel, or because they don't have the bandwidth needed to solve the problems they face. Problem-solving is a fundamental part of consulting, and it's important to spend less time talking about how to fix a problem and more time listening to what the challenges are. Interpersonal skills and industrial or functional experience are both important values for a consultant.
It's also essential that no marketing or customer communication can truly hide the fact that a company or organization isn't truly committed to customer value. Honesty is a key value that should be reflected in the “About” sections of any consultant's website. To provide customers with the highest level of value and return on investment, consultants should consider offering value-added services and options for customers to choose from. To successfully communicate their value, consultants must discover what their customers' biggest challenges are and the results they want.
Asking these questions will help consultants get an idea of the real value that their customers will receive when hiring their services. Service companies, such as consulting, have a special responsibility to help potential buyers imagine and understand the value they will receive. The more consulting skills a consultant has in their toolbox, the more value they'll create for their customers and, as a result, the more value they'll get for themselves. Demonstrating that their service will generate a significant return on investment for customers is an effective way to communicate value.
Finally, it's important for consultants to focus on their clients' ability to improve rather than on their own ability to do more. This will ensure that they are providing maximum value for their customers.