8 Qualities of a Consultant Who Has What It Takes
The best freelance platforms are only a few clicks away and finding top consultants has never been easier. However, the more choices you have, the harder it is to choose one. Indeed, the paradox of choice applies even when you’re trying to hire a consultant.
But whether you’re hiring a consultant or a full-time employee, it’s going to take some time and energy from your company’s side. The consulting industry is filled with some of the smartest and hard-working people on the planet. However, in this day and age, it’s understandable when companies need more than that. Sometimes, companies prefer a good cultural fit to a golden resume, and sometimes, businesses prefer a proven track record over a consultant’s location.
That being said, there are some key characteristics that all the top consultants seem to have. So to make your search a little easier, let’s discuss what these qualities are.
1. They Can Get Along With Everyone
The modern-day workforce is very diverse. You could be briefing a new intern who’s wearing a Metallica T-shirt in the morning, and work alongside a grandparent of three in the afternoon. One of the most important traits that decide whether a consultant will be successful or not is their ability to work with people from different backgrounds. Empathy in business is not just the latest trend, but an absolute necessity. A consultant’s job requires them to work with several companies and be around completely different people from time to time. All the knowledge and experience that a consultant has might be inefficient if they don’t understand human behavior first. That’s why people skills are as important as any other consultant skills.
2. They’re Professional Problem Solvers
There’s a difference between someone writing ‘problem solver’ as a skill on their CV and actually being a problem solver. The way consultants solve problems is very scientific and complex for a layman to understand. They use processes like APS (Applied Problem Solving), GROW model, A3 problem solving, etc. When you hire a consultant from the best freelance platform in your area, ask them what problem-solving methods they use. It’s a good idea to visit an online consulting marketplace and get a consultant who is well-versed in the problem-solving processes which your employees might not be aware of. After all, it’s not a bad idea if your employees learn professional problem-solving and become self-sufficient for future problems.
3. They Know Their Stuff
One of the most common reasons why companies visit freelance platforms to hire consultants is to fill a skill gap. For example, if your organization has just switched to a new CRM software and none of your employees is highly competent in using it, you could approach an online consulting marketplace and hire an expert to teach your employees how to optimize it. If you visit some of the best freelance platforms, you’d easily be able to find a consultant who has helped a dozen companies with the same obstacle before.
4. They Have Case Studies and Client Success Stories
There are several ways to tell if a consultant cares about your results or not. Firstly, you can visit their website (or stalk on their LinkedIn profile) to read testimonials from their previous clients. Look beyond the “he/she’s a great person to work with.” This means that you must read what problems the clients had and how exactly the consultant helped them solve it. For example, “John helped us launch our new product and his advice increased our overall sales by 150% within two months.” And if John has a detailed case study about how exactly he helped the company achieve those results, you should read it cover to cover before hiring him.
5. They’re Action Takers
It’s likely that a company has faced a period of inaction before googling “best freelance platforms”. Maybe because the decision-makers are hesitant or maybe because the company lacks in-house expertise. Whatever the reason might be, inaction leads to more inaction which slows a company’s growth. Top consultants bring life into new projects with their strong action-oriented mindsets - so it’s definitely worthwhile to hire one if action is what your company needs.
6. They Know How to Sail
For some reason, great consultants also happen to be great sailors. Well, it’s just a joke. However, when you onboard a top consultant from the best freelance platform, they’ll help you navigate choppy waters with ease. Dealing with uncertain situations can be a daunting task. Not to mention mistakes made due to inexperience can be costly in the business world. That’s why having an experienced consultant along your side can make your job a heck of a lot easier.
7. They’re Willing to Walk the Extra Mile
Sometimes, the solution to a problem might not be as straightforward as one might think. Some projects may need those extra hours. If a consultant focuses on creating solutions instead of counting hours, then it means that they are relentless and won’t stop until your organization has reached its goals. In fact, it’s the people who are willing to walk the extra mile that become consultants in the first place. Well, it seems like now you have another reason to visit a freelance platform and hire a consultant.
8. They’re Confident
Simply by talking to someone, you can tell whether they’re really confident or faking it. If a consultant is confident that their engagement with you is going to be fruitful, that means they must have made a similar promise to a previous client and achieved great results. Repetition, knowledge, and experience bring confidence. A confident consultant will take feedback positively and provide recommendations boldly. They won’t look clueless when you ask them questions, nor will they lose composure when things go south - a much-needed skill in the ever-changing business world. So make sure to tell your freelance platform to connect you with some of the most confident consultants.
Keep these qualities in mind before you visit an online consulting marketplace next time. They’ll come in handy when you hire a consultant.
For example, when implementing a new project management process, you may need a consultant who has a combination of both soft skills and industry knowledge. Let’s consider another example: if you want to merge your business with another business, you might specifically want a consultant who can show you a case study on how they executed a successful merger in the past.
What you should look for in a consultant usually depends on the task at hand. Some skills and experiences are more useful in certain situations than others, simply keep this in mind when hiring a consultant.