Consultants are often hired to identify solutions, provide a voice of experience in a given industry or function, and offer a wide set of skills that help add value to the company. But how can consultants make the most of their services? Here are 10 ways that consultants can help their customers maximize their impact.
Challenge conventions. One of the best ways to offer value to a customer is to challenge their established ideas and standards.
Consultants can ask difficult questions, analyze all the information presented, and encourage customers to consider alternative options and take bold steps to move forward. Whenever possible, consultants should seek and incorporate new ideas and approaches, and improve existing ones.
Factor in non-monetary benefits. When assessing the value of a consultant, it's important to consider all the additional non-monetary benefits that would result from a contract. These could include access to new ideas, improved product quality, increased efficiency, and more.
Generate technical value.
Consultants create value through two dimensions; namely, technical value and political value. The technical value created by consultants can include providing experience and solutions to various problems, saving costs, increasing revenues, etc.
Provide political value. Political value is created when consultants help their customers navigate complex organizational dynamics. This could include helping stakeholders understand each other's perspectives, facilitating difficult conversations, and helping customers make decisions that are in their best interests.
As an external vendor, a consultant often sees concerns that stakeholders and people with overly organizational participation cannot see. A good consultant will be able to identify opportunities for improvement that may have been overlooked.
Conduct stakeholder interviews. During the first month of a project, consultants often interview people from different functions. This helps them gain an understanding of the customer's needs and objectives, as well as any potential challenges they may face.Produce reports.
Consultants can provide reports on their findings and recommendations. These reports can be used by customers to make informed decisions about their projects.
Educate customers. Consultants can also add value by teaching customers new skills or techniques. This could include teaching them how to use new software or how to manage their projects more effectively.
Consultants can provide ongoing support throughout the project. This could include providing advice on how to handle difficult situations or offering guidance on how to move forward with the project.