One of the things I really don’t admire about many consultants is their ability to over complicate things. So many people within our industry seem to think that by using big words, long winded sentences and phrases that are complicated that they will appear more knowledgeable which will give them more credibility.

I’m sure there are numerous reasons why people do this, that usually revolve around status and having to justify their own worth, but I personally have no time for it. Nothing puts me off hiring a consultant more than someone who has all the sizzle, but no substance to back it up.

It all comes back to being authentic and ensuring what you see is what you get. You want to find consultants who you can build a long term relationship with, who know your business, where you want to go, tell you the kind truth and deliver value to both you and your organisation. Being authentic and building these long term relationships is a win/win for both the consultant and the organisation. The consultant has the comfort of securing a long term client, with a relationship that is a lot easier to nurture than having to find a new client. The organisation also has the benefit of not having to go through every detail of their business with a new consultant every time they need to outsource something and that they will receive value for money.

Proposals are no different, and they are such a vital part of any consultant’s role. I really don’t understand why someone would submit a proposal that is pages and pages long, full of sometimes interesting, but not really relevant content, such that the reviewer has to spend hours pulling out the information they need to make a decision and compare apples with apples.

I would much rather receive a brief document that clearly defines the expectations of both parties, what the agreement is, how and when it will be achieved. Who will deliver this, how much will it cost and what assumptions is this based on. The proposal should be even simpler if you have worked with this client before.

So lets get back to basics, focus on what really matters, show the value but keep it simple and uncomplicated. Remove the ambiguity around expectations and authenticity.

At the end of the day if you are selling your services, you are going to need a little sizzle, but focus on the steak and the substance. In the long run, you will feel much more comfortable in your own skin, you will have great relationships with clients who align with this approach and recognise and appreciate the value of you!