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Monthly Archives: October 2014

7 Best Questions to Ask Consulting Clients

First, he told you what questions not to ask your clients. Now, Michael Zipursky is sharing the seven best questions that you should be asking your clients. He lays it all out in a YouTube video, where he explains why each of these questions is so critical. Seven Sterling Queries What is your number one priority for this business unit during this fiscal year? What do you believe needs to be strengthened in order to …

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How to Deal with Challenging Clients

It is easier to put your dog on a leash than it is to chase it down the block. Along that line of reasoning, Craig Bradford writes about the qualities you can embody to deal with challenging clients before your relationship turns volatile. He comes up with seven preventative measures, as well as four more strategies for when things go south anyway. The Seven Preventers Communication solves all problems. Have a genuine care for the …

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Extracting Value from Consultants

Consultants are frequently sought to augment given management roles, not replace them. To that end, Sabah Hamad Al-Sabah Al-Binali flips the tables and gives his thoughts on how businesses can best use consultants. He says the three phases of hiring a consultant are acquisition, execution, and closing. They All Sound Like Orders You’d Give a Terminator Acquisition involves multiple parts, and the burden of it should fall mostly on the business: The first [part]is a …

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Hot & Cold: How to Make Your Consulting Proposals More Compelling

Consulting Café interviews Matt Kohut and John Neffinger about their book, Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential, and one of its key takeaways is that people judge each other based on two things—strength and warmth. Are you a strong jerk, or a friendly wuss? Kohut and Neffinger help you find the space in-between. Stronger, More Loving Proposals Being strong means having the ability to make things happen through force of will, and …

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The Perfect Fit: Choosing the Consulting Firm for You

Remember when you were a little kid, and a stroll through a toy store was like an exploration of limitless possibilities? Being a consultant and looking for just the right firm for whom to work is not much different. Every type of firm offers something unique and challenging, and Alexandra Nuth writes an article to help you decide which is the fit for you. Four Choices MBB (McKinsey & Co., Boston Consulting Group, Bain & …

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4 Essential Tips on How to Grow Your Consulting Business

Being a legitimate expert in your field opens you up to a wide number of business opportunities, but only if you are strategic about how you position yourself. Brian Horn writes an article about four tips to get your consulting business up to speed and moving faster all the time. The Essentials Be distinct—and address unmet needs in the market or learn to resolve them differently. Be the authority in your field. Network by building …

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Are You Enriching or Numbing Your Client’s Judgement?

Consultant Brook Manville writes for the Harvard Business Review about a paradox. Consultants are paid to provide insights to business leaders that they could not see themselves. When consultants devise comprehensive solutions with their unique insights, are they helping businesses move forward, or are they just making the business even more dependent upon the consultants? Double-Edged Sword The thought first came to Manville after he had finished a presentation at a global consulting firm, and …

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Setting Consultant Fees Confidently

Without guidance, setting your consulting fee from client to client could be like scaling a small mountain every time. As Andrea Coutu says in an article at Consultant Journal, setting the right rate is part art and part science. Allow her to be your art and science teacher for the afternoon. You Charge How Much? To get started, there are some things you need to know in advance: [S]etting consultant fees comes down to more …

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How to Identify and Manage Problem Clients

Not everybody is going to be your dream client. But because you are a working professional—and because you want to get paid—you are going to push through client eccentricities to get the job done. Siedah Mitchum discusses how to deal with five of the most problematic types of clients. Five Fiendish Clients The Micromanager The Indecisive Client The Penny-Pincher The “Add a Feature” Client The “I Need More” Client When dealing with micromanagers, instill in …

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Should Consultants Blog?

Blogging is one of the easiest ways to disseminate your ideas and get your name out there. If you write a quality blog, people will assume you are a quality consultant, right? Probably, but much like investing in a house or stock, there are a variety of factors to consider first. Michael W. McLaughlin helps you to decide whether blogging could be a healthy move for your career. To Blog or Not to Blog First …

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