One of the old trends in consulting is to resolve the client’s issue instead of teaching them how to do it. The new way to consult is to teach the client to resolve their own issues. Let’s see why coaching and teaching is the way to go now.
Why the average consultants want to just help the client? It is simply, it’s job security. The idea is that if you are the only one who can resolve client’s problems, the client will have to keep you around. Most consultants who act this way assume that they bring real value and it would allow them to be employed for a long time. Guess what, the client will get fed up and, at some point, and will replace the consultant. Instead of trying to stick around on the project for another couple of months or a year, this consultant loses the business.
The reality is, consultants very rarely become full-time employees. It means that
- you need to accept the fact that you have an expiration date and get over it. More importantly, you need to be prepared for it. Instead of bringing value to the client by just resolving issues start teaching people how to troubleshoot their own issues and training how to prevent those issues in the future.
The main idea is to teach your client how address the issues independently. You need to put yourself “out of the project”. It sounds crazy, but the business of consulting is to build relationship with the client and sell your brand:”Yourself”.
You are a small business compared to a big Consulting firm and you can’t afford to be average. You must go an extra mile and willing to do more for the client. At the end, not only the client will keep you on the project longer, they will recognize your brand which is priceless. The extra mile is to build relationship and leave lasting value to the employees of the client. You have to strive to bring value on all levels you interact: whether you are dealing with the project management, middle management, or an hourly employee in the plant. You have to find a way to bring them value. Remember, in the future, this employee might be the one recommending to you for another project (maybe, even in a different company).
Be more than the average consultant be the “go to guy”, bring value every day and everywhere, deliver exceptional customer service, and you will be able to be in demand for a long time