As a consultant, you can expect to have a rewarding career only if your clients like you and what you do to solve their problems. This article answers the question: What are the successful traits and habits of successful consultants?
Here are some tips related to the traits and characteristics of successful consultants.
Do what you commit to do – When discussing matters with clients, we often commit to lots of things. However, the true mark of successful consultants is that first they are careful in committing but once they commit, they follow through. Failing to follow through can erode your credibility and integrity.
Practice to become a problem solver – Clients hire consultants to solve problems and not just to tell them what they already know. Although there is nothing wrong with articulating the problem in a more effective manner, your success as a consultant will depend on leading your client to a solution or sets of solutions.
Ask intelligent questions – Even after the client is done explaining the problem, you don’t have to have a solution ready. You can (and should) ask questions to get a further clarification of the problem and to dig deeper. Remember, the more you can understand the problem and related facts, the better the chances of you coming up with the right solution.Listen, listen, and listen – This trait can’t be overemphasized. Too many consultants will listen to part of the problem and will jump into the “solutioning” phase. This not only frustrates the client who usually wants to explain the problem (sometimes just to vent to someone) but by jumping in you may not have heard of the real problem. It’s therefore extremely important to let the client explain the whole problem before trying to provide your viewpoints.
Practice problem solving – As problem solving is one of the key tools for a consultant (and management consultants) to use, you should constantly work on honing those skills. Use every client engagement as an opportunity to learn from the experience and use the lessons learned to improve your next experience. Besides, you should constantly read and learn about the various tools that consultants use to solve client problems.
Build your toolbox – Every consultant needs a set of tools to help his or her clients. A successful consultant learns to become an expert user of those tools. Such an investment can go a long way in helping you build credibility with your clients.
Body language – A successful is confident in their demeanor when dealing with clients. This confidence should be reflected in the manner in which a consultant speaks and engages with the client. If you are shy, reserved, or anything that keeps you from showing your skills and intellect, you need to improve your body language to exude that confidence.
Mastering these seven habits of successful consultants can put you on the path to become a successful consultant. Sign-up below to get more tips on consulting based on the experience of the world’s best and finest consulting companies.