Unlocking Real Value Blog

The Value of a Consultant

Why do some people believe that consultants can help them, while others do not? The non-believers have probably had experiences with consultants that only assess their weaknesses; the believers, on the other hand, know that for a consultant to truly add value, he or she must be able to make recommendations and then assist with the implementation of the solutions.

Case in point was a recent prospect meeting. The CEO stated that they had a list of 16 recommendations for improvement from their last consultant, but that they had not had the time to address these recommendations, and further he didn’t feel that they had the knowledge to devise solutions themselves.

If a consultant can only come in and tell you what is wrong, yet not offer solutions to help you improve, then I would have to agree that the usefulness of that consultant is limited. After all, we all know that we can always find ways to do things better. The trick is being able to actually do something about it.

One way to evaluate a consultant is to consider who their strategic partners are – who helps them implement improvement plans for clients. In most cases, solutions will encompass hiring others to complement the strengths of the consultant. The article  Consultants Sell Success with Strategic Thinking & Teamwork was recently featured in allBusiness.

The article discusses how my partner Petey Parker and I work in our Consult P3 business partnership (Consult P3 complements the work that I do for financial services firms with firms from other industries). Our philosophy is based on assessment and solutions. Petey and I do the assessments and then work with our faculty of highly-qualifed partners who we recommend as appropriate to help clients improve their three Ps – People, Planning and Processes.

Next time you think of hiring a consultant, be sure to inquire about their implementation strategies. Oh yea, the answer for the prospect above. Step one would be an action plan to address the 16 points already identified and provide an implementable solutions roadmap. That would be something worth paying for!


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