Being consultative is crucial to adding value to your business relationships. It has become an imperative in IT consulting business, where outsourcing professionals tend to focus on the deliverable and logistics surrounding it, rather than understanding client goals and needs, and mapping their deliverable to the needs. Most of the misunderstandings and conflicts are caused by people working in a vacuum. Most professionals in IT, Market Research and similar technical areas perceive their jobs as providing data, intelligence or service, and not as providing solutions for business problems or needs. Hence, the need for companies to retain consultants, who wear the hat of problem-solvers, diminishing the role of the technical people.
There is a clear process to being consultative. Practiced diligently, it becomes second nature to us. I speak from experience – as a market research professional who advanced rapidly to the role of a Business Strategist. Here are 5 simple tips that start you on the road to being consultative.
- Your client industry
- Your client goals
- Your work in the context of client goals, problems and needs
- Your past success with the client
- Your value-add
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