Archive for: July, 2023

Consulting – The Latest 7 Secrets to Grow Your Consulting Business

Jul 08 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

More people are starting up consulting businesses because the economy is so unstable. They dislike their corporate jobs being uncertain and so they decide to start consulting instead of going back into that tense corporate arena. If you are consulting now, read on to find the latest 7 secrets to grow your consulting business.

1. Provide memorable consulting services. That means you do things your competitors will not do like setting up early morning appointments for the convenience of your clients.

2. Only work with people if your services and products are an accurate match for the prospect. Be honest and up front with your prospect. If someone else is better qualified for this prospect, refer them to the most qualified provider.

3. Listen to your prospect and give them what they say they want. Doing this, you will have an easy sale.

4. Speak optimistically about possibilities and opportunities. Your prospect will appreciate that you are the type of person who experiments and thinks out of the box for goal achievement.

5. Only speak respectfully about your competitors. This shows your professionalism and your prospect will see that you are a person of integrity.

6. Say things so your prospect can think of a happy future using your solutions to his or her problems. Honestly admit when you can’t guarantee what the prospect desires of you but speak hopefully of experiencing the best outcome that will please your prospect.

7. Be consistent with your message whatever that is. We feel secure with the familiar, consistent way of doing things.

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Executive Search Consultants Have Many Modern Tools

Jul 08 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Executive search consultants have interesting but challenging jobs. At times, finding the right candidate for a company can be a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. A fairly big gap can exist between the company needs and the candidates wants and the consultant’s job of helping the two sides meet in the middle can be daunting.

A way to make the process much easier is to find highly qualified candidates with a vision and work style that matches the hiring company. In the past, that meant job fairs, newspaper ads, and a great deal of faxing in an effort to find qualified applicants.

But with the advent of email, the internet, twitter and text messaging, finding candidates is becoming easier, allowing executive search consultants to find better qualified applicants faster. Rather than attend job fairs all over the country hoping to find top notch applicants and then being done with a search, a recruiter can launch a well designed website that allows people to add their resume online. With a 24 hour 7 day a week presence on the internet, a number of possible employees have access to the recruiter that might never have made it to a job fair.

Another technology that has made a world of difference for recruiters is email. No longer limited by fax machines, candidates can communicate clearly without having to run to Kinko’s to fax documents. Email is also a great tool for tracking information, allowing the recruiter to know what details were sent and when. Negotiations are well documented and an email conversation can happen quickly and easily, allowing decisions to be discussed thoroughly even within the time pressure of a job search.

Texting is another useful tool for consultants. Being able to sit in an office meeting and at the same time send a short bit of information to a candidate regarding a change of an interview location makes all the difference. Twitter is also finding its way into the awareness of executive search consultants as it allows them to distribute information to all their clients and candidates with a minimum of effort.

Technology has sped up the recruitment process but it’s also improved the results. It’s easier than ever to find the right candidate for a job and make the hiring company as well as the new employee thrilled with the perfect match.

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Management Consulting – Uncover 5 Popular Ways to Excel With Consulting For Management

Jul 08 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

In the highly competitive marketplace companies must provide quality products, services and excellent customer care. To make sure businesses constructively move their business forward, they hire corporate consultants. Hiring a corporate consultant, they learn how to improve workplace productivity, reduce business expenses, improve procedures or processes, increase profits and more effectively achieve their business goals and objectives. Keep reading to uncover 5 popular ways to excel with management consulting.

1. Using management consulting, you can improve the workplace environment. One of the most common challenges managers involve themselves in is resolving people problems. Showing managers how to develop useful management principles, they can spend more time on revenue producing projects instead of resolving employee miscommunication challenges.

2. Review goal achievement track records. As a consultant, you can bring fresh and impersonal insights into a corporate environment. You can impersonally brainstorm and create action steps to help your client get back on track.

3. Using your unbiased expertise, look for hidden talent within the company. Sometimes employees are overlooked by management. When you see employee talent that can help a company achieve their goals, point those overlooked talents out to management. They will be glad to discover these resources already on their team.

4. Create some checklists using your unbiased findings about people. When managers can do their job more effectively using a checklist, work productivity improves the quality of their company workforce.

5. Encourage open-mindedness among managers for improved corporate business. When a company’s customers see that their supplier is open-minded, they feel confident they are getting the best and latest technology for their needs.

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Important Keys When Hiring a Fundraising Consultant

Jul 08 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

When it comes to raising funds for any midsize to large organization it is always best to leave it up to a fundraising consultant who can keep all of your affairs in order. Far too often people will take on the daunting task of trying to organize everybody and put everything in order for a fund-raising effort. If you hire a good consultant, they can often eliminate so much of the stress and the investment is well worth it in the long run.

Powerful connections to kick start you

Not only can a good fundraising consultant keep everything organized for you, they should almost always have some ready resources in order to help kick start your fundraising program. If they have done their homework then they should have good connections with local foundations and other large business donors in the area.

Do they have the right vision?

One key is to make sure that the fundraising consultant does have a vision for the project or cause that you are trying to raise money for. It’s possible that you may have got this person from a word of mouth or a business relationship that you are already familiar with.

Sit back and let them work

The best thing that you can do once you hire somebody to handle your fundraising efforts is to sit back and let them do their thing. After all, the reason that you hired a fundraising consultant in the first place was to handle all of the fundraising efforts. So sit back and let them do their job.

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Are You Ready, Willing and Able to Get Tough on Your Consulting Firm? Part 2

Jul 08 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Continuing from part 1 of this article, and after discussing how to get tough on ourselves, our associates and prospects, in this article we discuss how to get tough on our suppliers.

Although consulting firms, as knowledge-based organisations, typically, don’t have many suppliers, but they do have some, so it’s vital to take a closer look at this relationship. They also have alliances and joint venture partners, and this addition makes the topic even more important. so And under “suppliers” we can also consider the other professionals for whom your firm is a client.

But before we emphasise our expectations of others, we have to make sure we, as clients, fulfil their expectations.

So, check yourself if you’re a “Great Client” on your supplier’s roster. Ask yourself…

Do you treat their people with respect?
Do you promptly respond to their communication?
Do you accept their fees and prices? Hagglers don’t make “Great Clients”
Do you pay their invoices promptly?
Do you involve them in your operation? What I mean here is that when you talk about improving office effectiveness in your company, do you invite your office supplier to share their expertise on the topic?
I would go as far as requesting a Perfect Client profile from your suppliers, and asking them how you could live up to their expectation and asking them to help you to become a Perfect Client.

First, your suppliers would be floored because all of their clients are hammering them for special deals and preferential treatments. But this is different. You basically ask your suppliers how to create win-win relationships in which your company receives amazing service and your suppliers make a fair profit by rendering that service to your company.

This is neither rip-off nor penny-pinching. It’s just a good and mutually profitable way of conducting business.

But just as your supplier wants you to be a Perfect Client, you want your supplier to be a Perfect Supplier. So, let’s see some criteria to keep supplier relationships clear and overt.

Finding The Right Supplier

The differences start right here. Some companies create bidding wars and pit suppliers against each other to bid for the contract.

The problem with this approach is that by default you get low-end suppliers. Suppliers that are worth their salt don’t even participate in bidding wars because of the high casualty rates and the low rewards.

A bidding war is really just a way of finding low bidders that are willing to enter win-lose type superior-subordinate relationships with companies.

So, how to change this around?

Let’s look at the buying process from the buyer’s perspective…

First let’s start with a study by McKinsey & Co…

1. 75% of solutions don’t return a profit to the selling company
2. 50% of solutions don’t deliver the expected value for the buying company

#1 happens because sellers get blinded by buyers’ offers, and in the shuffling madness of getting the contract, sellers give up their margins in order to close the sale.

And #2 happens because sellers realise they have given up the very margin (financial cushion) they need to finance the delivery of the pre-agreed value. And at this point they start taking shortcuts.

And after weeks and months of hubbub, hullabaloo and brouhaha, buyers get a financially incredible deal and achieve… precisely… nothing. Not a sausage.

So, let’s look at the buying cycle of a smart buyer…

Buyer searches for possible solutions and service providers on the web using Google
Buyer settles with a couple specific companies
The smartest of the selected companies start a nurturing process of educating buyers
Buyer gathers info on- and from the selected companies
Buyer connects with selected companies to discuss possibilities of working together
Out of these discussions buyer selects – based on high value not low price – the most suitable company
Buyer and seller agree on price and terms, and start working together
In this process there is honest and overt communication between buyers and sellers.

And what does a cheap buyer do?

Buyer issues RFP to find some competitive(ly low) bidders
Some poor souls, desperate for just any business, respond to the RFP and submit their proposals, hoping that it’s a real opportunity
Buyer makes a shortlist of some poor souls for further brain-picking, called the sales presentation
Buyer invites some salespeople to present their solutions. The audience of these presentations are usually mid-level opinion-makers and lower-level flunkies without decision-making authority and budgetary power
Anticipating manipulative presentations, audience members put on their “sales filters” designed to separate real value from fluff
Audience members passively watch and listen to the free “entertainment” and carefully filter the message
Audience members grade the presentation and the presenter(s)
Audience members take their collective opinion to the purchasing department
A flunky at the purchasing department selects one of the presenters as supplier
The purchasing department uses other low bids to pressurise the selected company to drop its fees and prices even lower
In this process there is deceptive and covert communication between buyers and sellers. They try to trick each other to make the most of the opportunity.

It’s pretty clear there is no way one can find good, let alone great suppliers through RFPs. Good suppliers simply don’t respond.

So, I suggest you stay away from orchestrating bidding wars and focus on acquiring great suppliers through building relationships.

Selecting The Right Supplier

When a supplier is selected as a result of manipulative sales techniques on the supplier’s part to close the sale, then there is a problem. The relationship often starts out on the wrong foot. For the supplier your company is just another invoice number. And for you the supplier is an entity to squeeze every last drop of concession out of.

It’s an adversarial relationship because the supplier uses methods to maximise its profits, and your company uses methods to minimise the cost of services that supplier provides.

The typical example of this approach is the dreaded RFP and the whole retarded bidding process. Buyers basically compel sellers to go at each other’s throats, and the last one standing, usually the lowest bidder, gets selected.

One reason for that is that it is not the real buyer but a proxy buyer, called the purchasing agent, does the selection.

And this is the very same reason why the most suitable sellers don’t even participate.

Where is the bidding process coming from? From the government, probably the most ineffective and most corrupt man-made institution on the planet. Not exactly the right entity to model for excellence.

So, what can you do to find the right supplier?

Exhibit the same ethical buying characteristics that suppliers exhibit in their selling characteristics.

I truly believe we buy the way we sell. Buyers who haggle for lower prices do that because they sell on price. And who the cricket wants to be a supplier to a company that sells on price?

Just look at Wal-Mart. It sells on price, but in turn, it squeezes suppliers to the hilt. And many suppliers do business with Wal-Mart because they believe the price drop is justified by the huge volume.

I’m not sure.

But there is a huge difference between selling commodities at a discount and selling unique and complex solutions. Yes, complex solutions too can be sold at a discount but that defeats the purpose.

Making Agreements Clear

When someone pushes a complex agreement under my nose, full of small print by the company’s lawyers, I make a handwritten amendment at the end of the agreement, saying that all small print on this agreement is nil and void, and have the other party initial it. If the buyer refuses, I move on.

And this often creates some problems. I like playing over the table and regard small prints as under-the-table play. But I reckon lawyers love it because this way they can obfuscate their agreements in such a way that mere mortals don’t even understand them.

I may be wrong, but if I have to watch my back in a legal sense, I rather don’t work with that client. I have nothing against lawyers in general, but prefer to leave them out of my business dealings.

One big problem with many agreements is that they are tactical with no regard for overall strategy. They focus on methodology without clarifying what the contracting parties want to achieve.

It’s also fuelled by the misconception that many consulting firms are selling the efforts they put into their engagements not the results their clients expect to get out of them. So, they believe the more action steps they put into their agreements, the higher fees they can justify, saying, “Look we work our fingers to the bone. We deserve the money.”

As a result clients develop this distorted idea that they pay their consulting firms in direct proportion with the sweat on their brows and the magnitude of muscle cramps from hard labour. The more battered, bruised, bashed, bloodied, beaten, crashed and crushed consultants are by the end of the engagement, the more they deserve their fees.

So, what should the agreements consist of?

The summary of the current situation
The problem we’re working on to solve
The quantitative goal expected to be achieved by solving the problem
The objectives to be accomplished that make the achievement of the goal possible. These objectives must be in place to achieve the goals
Possible obstacles that may get in the way
The methods of measuring progress
The expected value to be derived from successful completion
Time frame
For instance, your firm is looking for a web design firm to help you to revamp your firm’s website

If we want to increase sales, we need to hire more salespeople and that’s more headache
We want to revamp our impotent website to generate qualified sales leads
We expect to land an annual $1.5 million of new business through our website
Our objectives: 1) Assembling an online business development team, 2) New web design, 3) Fresh web content 4) Building an online sales funnel from first contact to signed contract
Our computer network is old and slow. For proper online operation we have to update our hardware before we go online
The methods of measuring progress: 1) Number of redesigned pages, 2) Number of educational pieces (newsletter, articles, white papers, podcasts and videos) on website
See goal in #3
We expect the new website to be completed and gone live by 12 November 2009
Accountabilities: This section must spell out that clients are single-handedly responsible for the achievement or non-achievement of their results. Just like in a university. Students are responsible for their own graduation and finding work. The university provides the knowledge and the tools, but students must do the work. Consulting is the same
And this agreement becomes an operating template for all parties involved. Basically everyone becomes accountable to this document. And this is why there mustn’t be any small print on it.

In the last part of this series we’ll look at the relationship with paying clients.

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