Consulting 101

• If you’re unsure what to do with a client, or have conflicting objectives, simply ask this, “What’s in the client’s best interests?” If you let that be your guide, you’ll make the right decision.

• You should be able to cite three things you’re better at doing for clients than anyone else in your field.

• If I visit your web site and don’t find you credible in about ten seconds, you have a weak and undermining home page. (It’s probably self-centered, not client-centered.)

• No one cares about YOUR mission. They care about THEIR mission.

• Verbs such as identify, clarify, prioritize, list, review, and organize are so weak that they can barely stand without assistance. Don’t use them in objectives or actions.

• If you’re afraid to use adjectives such as unique, distinctive, and seminal, then you’re not any of them.

• If you want to joust, buy armor and a horse. If you want to fence, buy a rapier or an epee. If you want to present, lug along a projector. But if you want to converse as a peer, then bring along a lexicon that matches the buyer’s.

• Most successful dogs sniff around a while and smell the wind before becoming heavily engaged in a new situation. Not a bad approach for a consultant, either.

• There is more bad advice circulating in solo consulting circles than there are successful solo consultants. Be careful about what and to whom you listen.

• If you discuss “collaborating” or “alliances” without an actual client and business deal on the table, you might as well draw on an easel with your fingers. You’re merely doing a conceptual rhumba, and no one will notice once the music stops.

• The only way the bank will accept your mortgage payment is if you give the bank money. They won’t accept lists, hopes, intent, position papers, references, or PowerPoint. They want cash. So I suggest you spend the predominant amount of your time in front of people who can give you cash in return for your value, preferably on a continuing basis.

© Alan Weiss 2012. All rights reserved.

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