Friday, 7 March 2008

4 prerequisites for being a Consultant

Every business has problems. Everyone has problems. Would it not be nice if we can pay someone to look into our problems and solve them for us? Would it not make our life much easier to live by everyday? That is provided if we can find such people who are willing and capable enough to do the jobs for us with a price tag of maybe our house or our latest Ferrari.

That is what consultants do. And, of course, the cost to do the job also. A consultant, in generic term, is a professional who provides advice in a particular area of expertise, for e.g. in business, management.

It maybe suffices for me to say, consultant is just providing advice and not really need to get their hands dirty by actually doing the job. But I have seen the most efficient consultant in the world (at least, in the world that I have seen) who really gets his hands dirty and able to execute every jobs perfectly. The load of his job are easily the jobs of 3 senior managers combined. And he is one crazy consultant, so let's call him C.C. for now.

C.C. inspired me to define consultants differently. They are those who knows what people needs and what they need to do, and they get it done, no matter what. No matter what. Period. There are simply no excuses for failure. After all, who will trust a consultant who can talk and advice, but who never really have done the job before.

C.C. is also the most efficient and knowledgable people I ever seen in my life. I mean the real efficient one. There are those who call themselves consultants but not living up to the title at all. I came across some business consultants, project consultants that just are NOT consultants.

For that, I treat C.C. as my role model and I long to become near as good as him someday.

Thanks to him, I start to understand the consultant style of doing things. In one of the sales training session conducted by C.C, he spoke of this:

Sell solutions, not sell the products.
Sell in a consultant way.
Do not have the salesman mentality , more like consultant mentality.

Let's put it this way, while normal salesman approach the customers and start to sell their company and products by telling about the good features and benefits, the consultant approach the customers and ask them what are their problems. Then they provide solutions to solve their problems. The solutions normally include their products and services. Otherwise, they can always work with other business associates.

While you might be tempted to become a consultant, here are the 4 prerequisites C.C. told me where one should look into:

1. Presales

A consultant should know the product inside out. A good understanding of the product and business is very important.

2. Public Relation
A consultant holds the role of a key account manager. Thus, he must have very good people-skill and very well-versed in sociology.

3. Analytically strong
A strong analytical mind is the key asset of a consultant. A consultant must analyze everything, the budgets, the values and potential of the business, assistance needed, potential hurdles,etc. These are done based on experience and situation.

4. Detailed
A consultant must have a keen sense of awareness of small things and situation and opportunities. He is also detailed in observing the reactions of people. He has to come out with a complete solution thinking, detailing every single steps from A-Z, coming out with the fail-safe or backup plan.


Anonymous said...

"You make me realise how stressful it is; thank you very much."

Learn well, be strong and live well.

Susan said...

Dear anonymous or you-know-who-you-are,

Yes, you certainly lead a stressful life there. Anyway, take care of your health and relax a bit.

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