Consulting can be an incredibly satisfying career. There are very few jobs that are more rewarding than getting stuck into a client’s business problems and working out how to help them.
However, landing clients isn’t always easy, and sometimes you can find yourself scratching your head, trying to understand how you got overlooked for a job you know you would’ve been perfect for.
Here, we will identify consulting skills that your clients are searching for and how to develop them and improve your services.
Consulting Skills Your Clients Are After
When a client decides they need the support of a consultant on a specific topic, they will no doubt be searching for a specific set of skills.
Here are some of the most common skills potential clients are on the hunt for, which you can promote to give yourself the best chance of landing them with your pitch.
When a client searches for a consultant, they need someone who is a clear expert in their required skill set, with experience in that industry, or experience overcoming challenges similar to those that they are currently facing.
Potential clients also want a consultant who will not only identify issues but also propose practical solutions and help them reach those solutions. If you’re in the consulting world, problem-solving is your product.
As a consultant, communication skills are absolutely essential. Clients are looking for someone they can work closely with, someone who can explain issues and solutions in a clear and concise manner and provide detailed yet digestible feedback and analysis.
As a consultant, you will find yourself working with many different clients across different projects and possibly different industries.
Each client is different, and you will need to be highly adaptable to ensure you can evolve your services to match each client’s requirements.
For example, if you’re consulting a startup on a new product launch, you’ll need to adapt your interactions and communication style with the founder, chief marketing officer, and product designer. It’s a lot of personality to balance, but it’s why they hired you.
Finally, when clients are spending cash on external sources, they want to see results. After all, you may not have a boss to answer to, but they certainly do!
You must focus on providing tangible results that demonstrate the value of your services.
How to Develop Your Consulting Skills
All that sounds great, but what if you feel like you are lacking in any or all of these areas?
Well, then consulting just isn’t for you. Get yourself back in line for the 9-5.
Of course, I’m kidding. Very rarely does a consultant start out with all the skills and expertise they need, and none of them are exempt from constantly learning and growing.
Learn your chosen industry like the back of your hand
If you’re going to claim to be an expert in a subject, it’s important you follow through. Spend time learning everything there is to know about your consulting niche to ensure you can offer the best practices.
Become more chatty
Hone your communication skills, both written and verbal, to convey complex ideas clearly and build rapport with clients. That means attending networking events and interacting with folks on Linkedin.
Practice, practice, practice
Practice makes perfect, right? The saying is a popular one for a reason, after all. Practice your problem-solving skills at every opportunity, furthering your abilities.
Create lasting working relationships
As a consultant, it is much easier (and cheaper) to keep a client than it is to acquire a new one! That is why building long-lasting relationships is so important. Work on actively listening, understanding their needs, and delivering value consistently.
That way, even if a contract ends, you will have a fantastic referral for new clients.
Never stop learning
Even when you upskill yourself to become an expert, that doesn’t mean you will be an expert forever! Stay updated with the latest industry developments, tools, and methodologies to adapt and provide relevant solutions to your clients’ evolving needs.
Keep Learning: 16 Ways to Find (and Win) Your Dream Customers
Generate Leads For Your Consultancy Business
Now that you’re a highly skilled and confident consultant, it’s time to put yourself out there. Give your lead generation tactics the best chance of success by watching our free B2B lead generation training guide.