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Consulting and Confidence: The Two Go Hand in Hand

By Michael Zipursky
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As with many things in business of consulting your confidence plays a huge role in determining your level of success.

Now I won’t start preaching to you on this subject – enough people and mountains of books do that already – what I will tell you is that to be successful as a consultant you need to be confident in yourself.

If you’re not confident in yourself you’re going to have a very tough time getting a prospective consulting client to hand over their hard earned money.

Here are 4 ways to bolster your consulting confidence:

  1. You don’t have to be perfect. Don’t let yourself get frozen into thinking everything you do has to be perfect. Just because you’re a consultant doesn’t mean you have to know everything. Make sure you know what you’re talking about – and ideally focus your speciality so that becoming an ‘expert’ is easier to accomplish.
  2. Dress the part. Listen, some people can get away with wearing torn jeans and t-shirt and still get people to hand over piles of cash. But regardless of which way you lean – formal or casual – first impressions do matter. So make a strong first one by dressing professional. Dressing up a bit also helps make people feel more confident.
  3. Look your client in the eye when you’re talking to them. Don’t feverishly start look at the walls. When you look away it gives the impression that you’re talking out of your trousers. You know what you’re talking about right? Go ahead, give them your professional opinion and tell them how you can help them.
  4. Relax. Far too many consultants – and business people in general – take their job too seriously. Enjoy yourself. Don’t worry about making mistakes or what someone will think of you if you say the wrong thing. Everyone makes mistakes. And almost every successful person, at one point along their journey has failed miserably. Remember, failure isn’t a bad thing. Accept that it will happen and that you’ll learn from any mistakes. As long as you keep getting back up when you’re down and push forward you’ll be steps and then leaps and bounds ahead of most others.

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