There are three basic
reasons for retaining a consultant: time, expertise, and objectivity.
You've heard that "time is money", so ask yourself,
what is your time worth? Most leaders don't have enough
hours in the day for facing normal, everyday demands let alone
conducting strategic planning or developing a loyal client
base. It becomes a juggling act, usually resulting in
something getting short-changed.
Consultants, however, remain focused on the game until you
get game winning results.
At times, it may be difficult to be completely objective
on an issue or problem. Sometimes leaders may not have
a full working knowledge of a specific topic, and they need
information to help them make the right decision. Seeing
your issues or concerns from an objective point of view will
provide you with clear strategies that will help you succeed.
What does a consultant
and effective consultants will give you straight answers through
thorough evaluations, studies of marketing techniques, opinion
surveys of your internal and external clients, financial and
comparative analysis, budget planning, and other methods.
Their job is to understand your goals, showing you the most
cost-effective way to complete the project and run your organization.
When should I use
You should select a consultant
when you want to:
Study your organization to obtain
a clear, objective point of view
Develop a business strategy from
an fresh perspective
Conduct independent surveys of
employees and other customers which provide candid and
Develop new material or research
for a specific project
Provide training, as needed, without
the overhead costs of full time staffing
Handle any project that is time
sensitive or when you just don't have the time yourself
Handle an important negotiation
Don't consultants tell
you what you want to hear?
A reputable, winning consultant will not build up false
confidence; doing that will only set you and your organization
up for disappointment and frustration. A reputable one
will tell you what you
to hear and will decline a project if the sole objective is
to validate an opinion or someone's specific position on a
certain issue. Great consultants will give you
clear, concise, objective facts and will assist you with implementing
steps for improvement.
How do I check to see
if a consultant is reputable?
Once you think you have found a consultant that appears to
meet your needs, ask for a reference list. Call their
clients. Ask about the project or issue that was handled,
the working relationship, the level of efficiency and professionalism,
the length of the project, and most of all, the outcome.
Call several different clients. The more information
you have, the better you'll feel.