Management Consultants – How Do Clients Choose Consultants?

Clients choose for their OWN reasons, NOT YOURS!

You would think this is really basic stuff handled well by many. However, when I work with other consultants, I find it is often overlooked! How often do consultants forget to truly understand what the REASONS are that clients would want and need consultants? Well, in my experience, it happens too often and more than it should.

Your challenge as a consultant is to find their reasons for utilizing consulting services, NOT your reasons for wanting them to choose you!

As a consultant, you must not confuse “problems” with “reasons.” Problem statements and issues will normally be abundant and detailed, but, the “reasons” to solve those problem is of great value to the Odyssey Consultant.

Once you have a clear understanding of the reasons, you will be better positioned to help the client and to understand the “value” of solving the problems, which will help you to better develop the value proposition to your client later.

Focus your questioning on finding out what their reasons are for discussing a project, problem, issue or concern.

Get them to verbalize the reasons, by asking more “why is that important?” type of questions.

In this process make sure you show your client that you care about them, so that they feel comfortable enough to share openly with you about the real or underlying problems, issues and fears they may be dealing with.

Along with showing them you care, you should actively and intently listen. Listen to what they say with your ears and watch with your eyes what they do with their facial expressions and body language that will tell you probably more valuable information than what they say at times. Treat the non verbal communications as important and relevant.

To have them feel you care and have them know you are listening, you will want to put your PMA, or Present Moment Awareness, on overdrive and be present and sensitive to all that is being said and what is not being said in the conversation.

You will need to read and react to the non-spoken body language as if they were talking to you verbally. Letting one of those facial expressions go untouched could be your critical mistake.

Make sure you use this questioning and discussion process in finding their “reasons” for what they want to do. Knowing their reasons will help you to make sure you can match the “who you are” and the “what you do” to their reasons to want to utilize you as a consultant.

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