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Confronting the Issue

Confronting the Issue

Your buyers need confidence. They need to exert it for their employees and customers, and they need it from those helping them. In ambiguous times you have to be bolder, more assertive, and more provocative than ever. You can’t dance around trying “not to lose” business. It’s ironic that so many people in professional services can gain a prospect’s attention but then fail to convert that attention into a business relationship.

That’s because the consultant is uninteresting, another “yes-person” desperate to be liked and too timid to be assertive enough to be respected. A consultant told me recently she was turned down by a buyer for a strategy project “because the company was in the second year of a three-year strategy at the moment.” That is the height of absurdity, since a pre-pandemic strategy can’t possibly be successful right now, looking out three years is ridiculous, and that’s precisely why they should scrap that strategy and study a new approach.

If you can’t confront poor assumptions and dumb decisions—and indecisiveness—in that manner, then what is your value? We’re not here to stick a toe in the water.

We’re here to make waves.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 2

  • November 10, 2020

    Such an important point, Alan… and one I learned the hard way while consulting in the often monotonous world of non-profit fundraising. It’s hard to close business when you’re trying your hardest not to make waves and to keep everyone happy. Much easier when you are, as you say, “interesting…” when you stand out… when you take a side.

    As a very successful consultant once told me, if there’s no one in your industry that vehemently disagrees with the way you do things, you’re not notable enough to get noticed.

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