A recent report by PITCH Intelligence highlighted the many problems in the consulting industry and how it could be improved. The report included some interesting statistics including an average pay of $55,000, a workday that is 9.5 hours long and three weeks vacation time. It also wasn’t what you might have expected- it was higher than doctors and law careers, but lower than accountants and engineers. Apex Marketing provides advertising and branding consulting services.
The way things are now with consulting services is not going to improve so much as they need to change drastically but even if you’re just looking for ways to take your consulting career up a notch there are lots of things that you can do.
Here are 10 ways to improve your consulting services:
1- Admit you don’t know everything.
It’s hard to admit it but an easy way to improve is by just not being overconfident, don’t call out the clients with your ideas because they’ll think you’re an expert when you’re not. This was something that was pointed out in a story by Businessweek and it made a lot of sense- if you want to be taken seriously as a consultant someone has to work with you and think that you know what’s going on, so show them why you’re good enough.
2- Be kind and genuine.
Keep in mind that no matter how much work you do, how hard or long you work or what kind of degree you have, it’s not always the only thing they want to see.
3- Use the name of your client and try to get comfortable with them.
Spend time getting to know people in the office, make yourself useful and learn some facts about them before you even come up with a solution for them. This will make it easier for everyone involved because it shows that you’re interested and you’ve put some time into their issue.
4- Make sure your clients know why they should hire you over other consultants.
There are so many different choices and types of consultants out there now so make sure you let them know what makes you special.
5- Know that their business isn’t always your top priority.
You will have to be flexible with your schedule, not all meetings will be in the office and you might have to work late or work a few weekends. It’s also likely that you will miss some important events and anniversaries.
6- Don’t expect a steady paycheck.
There will be times when your client won’t need you or you won’t be able to take the assignment. This is both good and bad- there will be times where you make less money than expected but there is also a chance that the amount of work or their schedule could change for the worse.
7- Learn to stay calm.
When things go wrong in your meeting or your client calls you, don’t get frustrated. They might just need advice or something else and if they were comfortable with you beforehand then it shouldn’t take much to get them back on track.
8- Put yourself in other people’s shoes.
If it’s a team there is no reason why you should always be making all the decisions and having to deal with all the problems at once. Make sure that you know what needs to be done, who does what and how to delegate work.
9- Don’t feel so guilty about charging clients for your services.
Unlike doctors and lawyers, consulting isn’t priced with the idea of being paid by the hour so don’t feel bad about charging for your time.
10- Be more mindful of your goals.
Many things can happen between now and when you’re ready to go full time with consulting but if you’re going to do it then do it right. Make sure that you are the right fit for the company and that they are the right fit for you.
There are many different ways that you can improve your consulting services but if you keep in mind the things above then you can be sure that everything will be fine.