Over the years, we’ve been seeing consultants fetching out projects (and sometimes even closing the deal) in areas or competencies that are beyond their area of expertise. This is increasing by the day. Consultants often become desperate to seek out projects that are either not in the sector they deal in or they demand a skillset which they don’t possess or both.
We receive dozens of queries regarding how to proceed with so and so type of projects. Some of major and repetitive queries we get are how to identify focus groups, what are questions to be asked in an interview, how to strategize to generate a certain revenue, etc. We ask, why do you take up projects which are you’re not sure of as to how to execute it and give it a fruitful result? We’ve been in the consulting business for over a decade now. In these years, we’ve never taken up a project which is beyond our capacity to deliver nor do we recommend others to do so.
You may think that by getting into a “consultant training” program and graduating with a certificate might help. Let us ask you this, who are the ones certifying you? Are they real consultants? What experience have they bagged over the years? Who has certified them to coach and certify other consultants?
You should know your specialty. You should understand which projects you are comfortable with and accordingly pitch for them. Don’t go about throwing stones in the dark. It’d be detrimental for you or your firm in the long run. Although, you can pitch for projects which are outside your comfort zone subject to the contingency that you’ve mastered the basics of Consulting.
Our viewpoint has always been to diversify and explore new possibilities. But, that requires the basic understanding of Consulting Tactics. These tactics should be embedded in you before you even pitch for a project. We feel that if you’ve these tactics engraved in your head, you’ll be able to take up and successfully deliver a project. You cannot call yourself an expert consultant and have no right whatsoever to consult others unless you’ve mastered the following methodologies:
- Appropriate methods of market survey/research like targeting focus groups, interviewing and parallel sampling methods.
- Apt decision making, sharp problem solving skills and a master in creating the best plans.
- You should be creative and innovative at the same time.
- Your communication skills should be impeccable. This includes normal communication, feedback mechanism, and interpersonal relations.
- Creating the best strategy for your client and implementing the same.
- Evaluate performance and plan successions to various posts.
- Your mentoring and counseling skills should be irrefutable.
- You should be excellent at resolving conflicts.
- Your negotiation skills should be unquestionable.
- You’re great at modifying Behavior; you should be able to change/remove undesirable behaviors that are not favorable for your client.
We assume that by now you’ve got an idea as to how to become a consultant that the market demands and loves. Your basics should be strong. Our trainings, workshops and mentorship programs always focus on getting the foundation right; if the base of your house is weak, it’s destined to crumble to ground someday.