I have very much enjoyed the last couple of weeks putting together the content for the easyconsult coaching program that we are developing up exclusively for consultants. It is a coaching program with a mission to develop great consultants by teaching them the skills and practices that will provide more money, more time, more freedom and more meaning to their life. We believe it will transform the manner in which consultants operate in the future taking advantage of the technology and business models that are now available to all of us.
Developing up the content and the supporting materials has gotten me thinking about what defines a great consultant, particularly where it relates to the non-technical areas that are experienced by clients. For me, this includes everything from the way that expectations have been aligned to the client, to the manner in which they approach relationships and build trust, through to their commercial acumen in ensuring they are profitable and sustainable. It also includes how they build a great team around themselves.
Having worked in consulting for many years in a variety of industries, I have had the pleasure to work with some great consultants. When I reflect back on who was great and why they were great, there are some really key insights that come to mind which I have summarised as follows:
- They are very good at building long term relationships with clients with a focus on educating not selling;
- They listen more than they talk and ask very powerful questions to truly understand what their client is looking to achieve from key projects or initiatives;
- They understand that the technical skills that they exhibit in their work is only one piece of the puzzle;
- They are commercially astute from the commencement of the engagement right from the proposal through to delivery of the project;
- They have the ability to delegate and empower others around them to assist them deliver great work;
- They deliver exceptional value to their clients exceeding their expectations;
- Their ability to network and develop relationships with key influencers and advocates in their industries is exceptional;
- They have a clear picture of how they plan to grow their consulting practice and what their areas of expertise are;
- They understand their industries and their client’s businesses intimately;
- They are very good with managing their time and prioritising what is important;
- They focus on goals that are high and set the benchmark but are achievable; and
- They are always focussed on learning, improving and growing.
At BRS, the consulting practice half of easyconsult, we talk a lot about the key insights above. They are things that are not developed overnight but rather which are reinforced through the positive habits we practice daily. We have a summary document we utilise internally that gives a great overview of the difference between these negative and positive habits and how they make the difference from being a good to becoming a great consultant! You can see it here; Small Daily Habits – Replacing the Negative with the Positive – Consultant
The easyconsult coaching program will focus on teaching these insights above to all members. To find out more about our easyconsult coaching program that will be launched from 1 September 2013, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide details of the upcoming webinars that take you through the program.