Becoming a Consultant: What Matters Most

If you’re thinking about becoming a consultant or becoming a better consultant there are three keys that will get you there.

I’m not talking about marketing or earning higher consulting fees. This isn’t about how you write your proposals or structure or productize your service offerings.

If you want to BE a great consultant you must have these three: ask great questions and listen well, have real expertise, and deliver value and results.

Let’s dive deeper into each of these…

1. Ask great questions and listen well

The most successful independent consultants don’t barge into a boardroom and launch into a full blown presentation. They do the opposite.

They ask great questions and listen. They ask more questions and listen again. They spend their time focused on the buyer: their problems, needs, challenges, goals and desires.

Most people who become consultants transition into the role after spending years developing their expertise within the corporate walls.

When you ask the right questions you can understand the real situation your buyer is in. That allows you to move towards a direction and solution that aligns with what the buyer cares most about.

If you’re doing all the talking it leaves little room to understand and identify what the buyer wants most. And knowing this gives you the ability to get buy-in, acceptance and develop a proposal that resonates with the buyer and is accepted.

2. Have real expertise

The barrier to entry to becoming a consultant is extremely low.

Anyone CAN become a consultant. Few become extraordinary consultants.

To set yourself apart, win business and most importantly serve and deliver for your clients you must have real knowledge, skills, experience and expertise.

Someone working as an administrative assistant who creates brochures, marketing materials and website copy for their company CAN go out on their own and become a marketing consultant.

But are they really qualified? Have they enough skills to honestly call themselves an expert?

Most people who become consultants transition into the role after spending years developing their expertise within the corporate walls.

If you don’t yet have real expertise, work on developing it. Read, study, take courses and training programs, work with clients (even pro bono or at a discounted rate) so that you can develop that real world experience and expertise.

Now let’s take a look at the third key, because this is the one that matters most.

3. Deliver value and results

You can have five or 25 years of experience – what matters is can you provide and deliver value and results for your clients?

Buyers of consulting services want a consultant who they are confident can get them from A to B. Who can solve the problem they are facing or achieve the result they desire.

Success for clients isn’t about who YOU are or what methodology or process you use.

So you can have a decade or more of experience, all the certifications in the world, and hundreds of books on your bookshelf – but counts at the end of the day is can you deliver the value and results your clients want.

Success for clients isn’t about who YOU are or what methodology or process you use.

Success is when they see and believe that value has been delivered and that it meets or exceeds their expectations.

When you can do that over and over again you’ll have become a great consultant.

If you’re new to consulting our Consulting Success System will help you start your consulting business.

If you have a clear expertise and want to attract clients and grow your consulting business you can apply for the Accelerator Coaching Program for Consultants. Consultants in this program have earned over $5.86M in the last 18 months alone.