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How to Think Life A (Successful) Consultant

How to Think Life A (Successful) Consultant

1. Be clear about your value to clients, and accept your mission to provide that value to as many people as can possibly gain from it. Don’t be afraid to blow a horn to get their attention.

2. Never assume the client is damaged. The client is smart enough to be talking to you.

3. Learn to accept rejection (from buyers, it’s part of the profession) and reject acceptance (from gatekeepers, whose job it is to block you).

4. Never believe you have the only way. Provide the client with options that are all good ways, so the decision is “How should I do this?” and not “Should I do this?”

5. Don’t think about or pursue perfection. Think about and pursue success.

6. Remember at all times that wealth is discretionary time, and the blind pursuit of money can actually erode you wealth.

7. Your physical presence is not of inherent value. The client’s results constitute value. Ergo, don’t tie the two together.

8. Routinize your inputs, customize your outputs.

9. IC to IP to IB: Intellectual capital must be manifest as intellectual property which can then be transformed into income that’s bankable.

10. Your best credentials are your results. Initials, “certifications,” ratings sheets, and degrees are mostly irrelevant and usually dumb. Provide a testimonial from a delighted client and it doesn’t matter what school you went to.

11. You should think about marketing all the time and delivering some of the time. Those who advise these are mutually-exclusive are universally unsuccessful.

12. Think in terms of speed and responsiveness. They display your sense of urgency, character, and professionalism.

© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved.

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: 8

  • simma Lieberman

    September 16, 2010

    This is so true. I’ve noticed that almost anyone can get certified almost anywhere for enough money. It reminds me of Burt Lancaster in “The Rainmaker.”

  • Alan Weiss

    September 16, 2010

    There was recently an Internet ad: “Be certified as a life coach for only $690 in a single day!”

  • Steve Kravitz

    September 17, 2010

    Alan, can you elaborate a little more on #8 please?

  • Pat Tith

    September 17, 2010

    I just came across someone that became a business coach at age 23! Do people really fall for this?….apparently so. He is now 35 and has formed an association. Well, I give him credit for being daring and thick skinned, a little like that person from Alaska. Let’s see…what was her name?!

  • Alan Weiss

    September 17, 2010

    He’s the ski instructor sitting in the chalet.

  • Alan Weiss

    September 18, 2010

    #8: Any tasks and inputs you should try to make common, e.g., have a template for proposals and invoices, use the same letter for invitations, have macros and speed dials. However, make your outputs unique to the client: Compare their company to others, create a list of internal best practices, etc.

  • Kelly

    September 24, 2010

    Rightly said!! Learning is an unending activity both for the trainer and the trainees. No one can become successful in one single day. It takes years to gain expertise in your profession and gain knowledge out of it.

  • Alan Weiss

    September 24, 2010

    I think Edgar Schein said that the best way to learn something is to try to teach it.

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