3 Things You Wish You Had Told Your Consultant Months Ago
It takes some effort to hire the right consultants.
But ensuring that the consulting engagement is a success requires some more thinking and preparation from both sides.
In this article, we’ll discuss the things that are often left unsaid by companies. However, speaking up on time can drastically change your results.
Let’s find out the three things that you should say to your consultant before it’s too late.
“We’re going to need your help with implementation.”
Traditionally speaking, a consultant’s role is to collect information/data, analyze the problem, offer recommendations, and sometimes, repeat these steps until the client is happy with the recommendations. When you hire the right consultants from the best consulting platforms, they’ll do this all for you without any hassle. However, the implementation of recommendations is not as easy as it sounds, and you might need the consultant to stay on board and steer the ship for a little longer.
Many argue that implementation is not really a consultant’s job, but it’s more like a managerial task. Well, it kind of is, no doubt. But if the recommendations are not implemented properly, or on time, they might not be as effective. Working hard and spending a lot of money on recommendations and not implementing them properly on time is like spending the whole weekend baking a cake and not eating it at all. Doesn’t make sense, right?
Now, if you’re confident that you can handle the implementation yourself, you could skip this step. But, if near the end of the engagement, you realize that you’re not going to be able to do it internally, it might already be too late as the consultant might have other commitments for future weeks. So, let your consultant know that you’ll need help with the implementation within the first couple of weeks, or better yet, before signing the statement of work if you’re really certain that implementation can’t be handled in a timely manner internally.
Failing to do might result in you going on a hunt to find the best consultants again. Save yourself some time, and communicate this as early as possible. However, it’s important to know that keeping the consultant on board to implement the recommendations will increase the scope of the project—but rest assured, it’ll be worth it.
“We need the project to be completed near this date.”
A smart business owner would have strict deadlines regarding various project stages. In business, time is not just money, but also opportunity. To save the time and opportunity cost that arise from project delays, discuss the expected project timeline with your consultant early on. You could find the best consultants from a renowned consulting platform, but remember that keeping the project on track and finishing it on time is as important as finding the right consultant with a lot of professional expertise.
It’s simple: Hire the right consultants who are experienced in solving a similar problem before, and they will have a better idea of what could go wrong at what stage. And if the hiring process seems too time-consuming to you, leave it to the freelancing consulting platform, as mentioned before.
If you give a heads up about the expected project completion date to the consultant way ahead of time, they’ll map out the project timeline accordingly, and set a deadline for each deliverable to ensure that the project completion does not get delayed.
Remember that consulting is a team sport. Even though it’s a consultant’s job to analyze data and offer recommendations, they will be involved with your internal team from time to time. Their behavior and support will also be a determining factor for project completion.
Timely communication from the business’s side is also crucial. It won’t be the consultant’s fault if the project gets delayed when a decision-maker does not respond to their email on time or doesn’t receive their phone call. That’s why it’s necessary that the internal team, as well as the consultant, work together to ensure that the project gets completed on time.
“You’re doing a great job, and we’re glad to have you on board.”
A lot of business owners or high-ranking officials delay saying this. There might be several reasons behind this. Sometimes, a senior decision-maker doesn’t give compliments to the consultant because they think the consultant might get a little arrogant and start taking things for granted. And sometimes, it’s just that everyone is so busy in their world that they forget to say ‘well done’ to their consultant.
When you hire the right consultants with the right skills, their recommendations are highly likely to help you achieve your business goals. But only if they’re implemented properly. So, if you need help with implementation, make it clear from the get-go. While the project is going on, it’s necessary to team up with the consultant and keep the project on track. Also, a little empathy and encouragement throughout the engagement is a must. Don’t treat your consultants like robots. Thank them when they exceed your expectations. This will make them want to work with you again and keep producing exceptional results for your company.