Two kings up your sleeve and other tips on being a consultant in these testing times.
Two kings up your sleeve. Although maybe the cards should be aces, I call them kings as the two techniques I will be discussing both end in –king.
Networking: A concept well known to all of us and very fashionable at the current time. Here we refer to creating and maintaining a network of contacts in order to exchange knowledge and experience gained. To do this we use social networking sites, take part in events and associations, disclosing and spreading information, amongst others. This creates personal enrichment in many aspects and increases our working opportunities.
Benchmarking: is the term used to describe the analysis and contrast with other experiences in projects of a similar nature, in other countries, or in other sectors. It is a very useful technique that can have diverse usages and applications. It serves as a base to give ideas to the consultant regarding possible problems and solutions relating to the task in hand. It is also used to convey tranquility the client, so that they can see that these solutions are tried and tested, as well as helping to separate the good practices from the bad.
Other more specific recommendations that may seem obvious though in our experience are of the utmost importance, and well worth recapping are:
- You must be punctual. Meetings that you call must start on time just as you must arrive for any appointment at the agreed time. It is a sign of a good upbringing and respect for others, as well as a means of being more efficient.
- Don’t leave out the subject in emails: It is essential so that they can be found later, give them the priority they deserve. The technique of “follow the thread” is genuinely useful for the management of this type of communication.
Have on hand two kings: the networking and benchmarking. Make use of them wisely.
- Prepare your meetings: these must be short, swift, well-run and useful…
- With regards to professional training and the search for employment, a consultant must gradually build their CV in accordance with their aims and work in the market areas most in demand: specialization, internationalisation and languages, communication. You must make your CV stand out from the crowd, and even more so in the current economic climate. For example, a second language like Spanish is a good way to get your foot in the door for jobs in Latin America.
And to finish, in line with what has been explained beforehand, our unique vision of the means of surviving the current economic downturn: the idea that only those who fulfil these three premises will survive the current recession:
Survive only those who meet the three “I”: Tireless, Innovative and Relentless
- Tireless and hardworking, make sure your production is efficient and of the highest standard. The time has come to do more for less. At the current time the market has shrunk greatly, only the best and most competitive will survive. It is necessary to maintain quality though at a price in line with the times we are living in.
- Innovative to be able to continue to sell in a scarce market that is getting more and more competitive every day.
- Relentless when it comes to payments. What is agreed with the clients must be met, should they fail to do so, you must remind them that they may not use the information or data you have provided until payment is forthcoming. They belong to us until they have been paid for.
We will share more tips with you in coming posts, if you have found them useful or even do not agree with any of them, you can leave your comment here below, or write to me using any of the available channels, I will be delighted to discuss any matter further.
Many thanks for reading.