5 Rookie Consulting Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

After 10+ years of running my own consulting practice, you can bet that I made my fair share of mistakes. I want to share with you my top 5 mistakes so you can sidestep the agony of wasted time and resources. Along with my mistakes, I will also be sharing my hard earned best practices so that you can accelerate the growth of your consulting practice. 

MISTAKE #1: WASTING MONEY ON A BROCHURE WEBSITE

When I started out, money was tight. It’s not that I didn’t have any money, but I was terrified of parting with any of the little cushion I had safely in the bank. I almost had a heart attack when I started researching how much it was going to cost me to get a website up and running. So, I did what many of my mentees do – they go with the cheapest option they can find and get little to no results from their website. Once I finally invested properly in my web presence, my business took off and I literally doubled my revenue within the first year.

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How to Uncover the Root Cause of Poor Performance

The most common go-to solution for any performance gap is to throw training at it. The truth is, while training is often necessary, it is NEVER sufficient. To move the needle on performance, you have to isolate the root cause to what is getting in the way.

These questions are designed to help you get to the root of individual performance problems – which may or not not require training to solve (and help you extend the value of your leadership training contracts.)

STEP 1: UNDERSTAND PERFORMANCE GAPS 

Task/Responsibility performed poorly                                                      

  • What is the required performance?
  • Who is responsible for performing this task?
  • Where and when does the problem appear?
  • ...
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5 Essential Competencies for Executive Leadership

It’s a common career trajectory: An employee becomes a front-line supervisor, then a manager, then a leader of leaders and then eventually an executive over a department or an even broader entity.  From that perspective, leadership is leadership and executives merely have a larger scope and span of control.

Despite common perception - executives are not simply managers with a broader scope and span of control. It's a new job with a whole new set of behaviors which weren't drawn on previously. 

If you're a consultant to executives (or have aspirations towards this end) you need to fully appreciate the unique competencies (attitudes, attributes and behaviors essential for a role) they need to possess to be successful so that you can:

  • Connect with executives with an understanding of what they are responsible for
  • Assess executive performance
  • Develop effective executive development and coaching solutions

In this article I'll introduce you to five essential...

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20 Questions to Help You Uncover Your Client's TRUE Culture and Politics

To win business and deliver results - all consultants MUST cultivate their political savvy. While we may think that executives hire consultants for economic reasons - the reality is that more often that not, we're brought in for political reasons. 

Politics is not necessarily a bad thing. Politics gets its bad rap when leaders operate out of self-interest versus the best interest of others. Then ego issues such as who has more power, competition for resources and unhealthy conflicts raise their ugly heads. Good politics benefits the organization because it helps with providing checks and balances.

Here's 20 questions to help you uncover your client's true culture and politics (and I promise you - it's not what's posted on the organizational chart or the values hanging in the break room!)

DEFINING THE REAL CORPORATE CULTURE

  • What are the stated values? Are they what the company lives by?
  • Who are the organizations heroes? Why?
  • Who are the scapegoats? Why?
  • Who gets the...
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How Much Should I Charge for my Consulting Services?

 

One of the most important questions both new and seasoned consultants MUST answer is: "How much should I charge for my consulting services?"

What your charge and your pricing philosophy determines both your earning potential AND your labor intensity. It's where the rubber hits the road on your eventual income you earn as a consultant and how scalable that income ultimately becomes.

How Do Set Fees for my Consulting Services?

Here's some steps to follow to get you started:

1. Get clear on your pricing philosophy: Contrary to what you have heard, your price isn't determined by the market rate for your methodology or your expertise. You set your price against the value that when your expertise is applied - the value it creates for your clients. Your fee reflects an equitable energy exchange against the results you help create and the incremental value of working with you. 

2. When you meet with a potential client - LONG BEFORE you put a proposal in front of them, get...

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Power Networking for Consultants

 

I am confident that you get how important networking is to your marketing system. You know that its an essential way for you to regularly meet and impress your future clients.

The question is: Are you making the most of these events?

Are you making the most of the events that you invest time and money to attend?

And as importantly - are you taking advantage of the networking events that you may not even realize you're attending every week?

Why You Need to Watch This Video

I put together this 10-minute mini-training on "How to Turn Networking Contacts into Consulting Contracts" to give you some instant ideas on how to make the most of your networking opportunities. In this video you'll discover:

  • How to choose the right events
  • Strategies to make authentic connections
  • Scripts on how to respond to inquiries on what you do
  • How to create action and next steps

Quick Win To Support Your Success

Here's a flow chart that shows you step-by-step how to make the most of your networking...

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7 Ways Your Website Can Transform Your Life

Congratulations! You have taken an important first step towards professional success. Having a world-class website that serves as the center of gravity for your marketing efforts is essential.  I am certain that you are expecting a number of results in return for your investment. You want to attract and retain customers/clients. You want to establish yourself as a preeminent provider in your area of expertise. You want to increase your image and brand so that you can charge a premium for your services. And, of course, you want all these efforts to lead to greater sustainable wealth.

Would you believe me if I told you those results, although significant, are a mere scratch on the surface of the potential available to you as you embark on your website development process?

The most significant aspect of website development is the process itself.  The results you will actually achieve over time aren’t found in the quality of the material on your site, but in...

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#4: 5 Reasons Your Client Hates Change (And Why You Do Too!)

podcasts Aug 06, 2018

Download Episode Transcript

Change is hard.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably selling you something or in denial.

And the facts are - it really is getting harder.

My evidence - when I first started consulting, it was no problem to get a senior team together for 3 days to plan for strategy and change. Now I'm lucky if I can get them together for 2 hours.

It's not that leaders are less capable or interested in doing the right things today.

It's that they have no bandwidth...at all.

In this episode of my podcast series Consulting Matters: Mastering the Art and Science of Business I will share with you 5 real reasons why change is so much harder today.

Armed with this insight, you will be able to:

  • Better handle situations when you client tells you they don't have the time to move forward with a change that they desperately need
  • Come up with better project plans and recommendations that take into account their starting point
  • Connect with credibility and ask questions that...
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#5: What Everybody Ought to Know About The 3 Types of Organizational Change

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When it comes to consulting to change, your first task it to identify what kind of change your client is embarking on. There are actually three types of change, requiring different types of change leadership and consulting support. To ensure that your client's change doesn't become another dreaded "flavor of the month," you need to provide them the right tools that are relevant for the type of change they are considering.

Why You Need to Listen To This Week's Podcast

In this podcast from my series Consulting Matters: Mastering the Art and Science of the Business, I will help you distinguish between the three types of change. Armed with this insight you will be able to:

  • Create more relevant and customized change solutions for your clients
  • Develop comprehensive plans to empower your clients to achieve both immediate and long-term results
  • Set a realistic and workable pace for change
Where You Might Get Stuck

Once you become more...

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#6: What Everybody Ought to Know About the 4 Types of Change Agents

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Change isn't optional but growth is. This is where change agents fit in. They are the ones who ensure that when the marketplace fluctuates and the organization gets larger, the company matures and gets better along the way. 

Change agents are those who formally or informally lead change in an organization. The title is reserved for those who see a better world AND must be a part of leading others towards that better world. 

Why You Need to Listen To This Week's Podcast

In this podcast from my series Consulting Matters: Mastering the Art and Science of the Business, I will introduce you to the four types of change agents. When you understand the different roles these change agents play in their common purpose of creating growth in the organization you will be better equipped to:

  • Better enroll key stakeholders in the work you know your client needs to embark on
  • Articulate the value-add contribution you offer a consultant
  • Create project...
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