Seven Things That Frustrate Consultants


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With the plethora of economic issues in the United States there is plenty to be frustrated with in attempting to close business. However there are many individuals that either operate or work as consultants. These “quick strike” individuals assist many organizations in numerous ways typically telling senior officers and owners those things that employees will not.

Sometimes consulting can be frustrating. For one, consultants attempt to move clients from their comfort zone only to find this requires much patience. And second consultants must be brutally honest with clients forsaking friendship for professionalism. Yet for the consultant who enacts most of the day as a sales and marketing professional there is much frustration. Client excuses, inertia and procrastination are issues that constantly hamper successful campaigns.

After 30 years of work in the field I am providing what I find to be the top 7 items that frustrate our profession.

  1. 1. Clients that pass themselves as decision makers. It is unfortunate but true clients sometimes lie. There was a gentleman named Peter whom stated countlessly how he was enamored with my services and wanted a proposal. We discussed it verbally and then I provided a summary. Unfortunately after six weeks of trying to obtain a decision Peter informed me his President decided to keep the project in house. Best method – Always ask who is the person that is making the ultimate decision.
  2. 2. Clients requesting services but have no strategy. A Senior Vice President recently called to request my services for the purposes of developing the sales force. Yet after a few moments of asking questions it was clear she had no strategy or implementation plan. Consultants must not be evangelists. When consultants teach others sell. Never move forward without a plan.
  3. 3. Never returning phone calls. Suffice to say we are all busy and doing more things than 10 years ago. However consultants call with purpose not to waste time. Not returning the consultant’s call is rude, however if this happens also consider the value of your relationship.
  4. 4. Clients that procrastinate. The job of a consultant is to repair the issue quickly. Consultants must train clients towards key performance indicators based on actions. Sometimes this requires more accountability measures for the client but if consultants must manage the client and the project you are underpaid and underserving.
  5. 5. Stackable. Ever had a client that hired you for one issue and then requests your time for more at the same fee? Stop this in its tracks. Only provide services based on the value contracted for nothing more. Never underprice your value.
  6. 6. Requesting free advice. I cannot tell you the number of times I attend networking functions or receive phone calls with people seeking free advice. There is one word for this…NEVER! The moment you relinquish free advice you demerit your value. My friend Stewart has individuals bring him a check for $5000 for two hours of his time. At inception of the meeting he requests the check and then forwards to the discussion. Once completed he returns the check. Then he signs the person to his mentor program. I have used this for the last 15 years.
  7. 7. Anyone can do it. Suffice to say the recession created a cacophony of noise and competition. Just because there is a low barrier of entry does not define a great consultant. Yet for many of us this does not require focusing on low hanging entrants. Keep your poise, know your value and remain focused. Go with your passion, your professionalism and purpose.

If you seek more council on how to develop your marketing skills lets get together to discuss my Private Mentor Program.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Drew Stevens
Drew J. Stevens Ph.D. (Dr. Drew) is the author of Split Second Selling and the soon to be released Ultimate Business Bible and six other business books on sales, customer loyalty, self mastery and business development solutions. Drew helps organizations to dramatically accelerate revenue and outstrip the competition. He conducts over 4 international keynotes, seminars and workshops per year.


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