What is a management consultant? This is an important concept that many people misunderstand.
The common perception is that of an up market well dressed sales person pretending to be an expert who takes your money for doing very little. If you can’t get a real job become a management consultant right?
Yes there are a few of these pretenders around just like there are rogues in every industry.
True management consultants are problem solvers and lifestyle enhancers who put people in a far better position than they were before. They are experts in their field and invaluable resources of information and experience. They are relationship builders, not transaction processors. They value long term clients, not one time customers.
Consultants listen and take the time to gather information and understand the particular circumstances and needs of the client. They give specific advice and deliver solutions tailored to individual client need; they don’t push-sell clients into pre-packaged products. In a nutshell, they help clients get what they want.
During the consulting process, the consultant will listen, advise, guide, add to the creativity, suggest solutions, propose alternatives, play devil’s advocate, challenge conventional thinking and be a sounding board, but it is all geared around helping clients get what they want.
Because there is regular and meaningful interaction during the process of reaching the desired solution, it is inevitable that part of the process is client education. In many instances, clients are better off because instead of simply being sold a fish, they are taught to fish for themselves.
So what is it that consultants are really selling? Themselves mostly! It doesn’t matter whether a consultant works in business, real estate, law, internet marketing or road marking, it is all about mutual trust and client satisfaction.
Until next time!
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