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Get into The Mind of a Consultant

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Published:
September 4, 2020
Reading Time:
8 minutes
Leo Saini
Experienced copywriter who spends a lot of money at restaurants and regrets it later.

Empathy (noun): the ability to share someone else's feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person's situation.

That’s Cambridge dictionary’s definition of ‘empathy’ and it’s pretty much on point. In the middle of all the complex contractual terms and legal jargon, we might tend to forget that, after all, we’re working with humans and it’s important to understand things from our coworkers’ perspective.

The same applies when businesses work with consultants. Having a basic understanding of the consulting mindset is crucial before you hire a consultant from a consulting marketplace. This article will help you get into a consultant’s mind and experience your potential engagement from their perspective.

1. They Look for Solutions, not a Weekly Whinge Session about Problems

Consultants take problem-solving to a whole different level. They have deep knowledge of different types of frameworks that are used to solve a business problem. For example, they might use a fishbone diagram method that allows you to break a complex problem into smaller portions and analyze how each part affects the other. Another example, and a very popular one, is ‘design thinking’, which is a methodology that revolves around user experiences and focuses on creating better products and services for them.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Most people cannot even comprehend how sophisticated these problem-solving tactics used by consultants are. However, when you hire the right consultant, you’ll get to experience this advanced solution-oriented approach at a closer level.

This is the one trait that every consultant has. No matter how difficult or complex your business situation is, a consultant will always have a positive mindset and a can-do attitude. So even if you think that your target revenue is impossible to achieve or your product has too many competitors, a consultant might think the exact opposite and will still make things work. In short, to have a consulting mindset means no giving up without trying really hard and giving your 100%.

“All problems become smaller when you confront them instead of dodging them.” – William F. Halsey

2. Consultants Are Insanely Enthusiastic about Making Things Better

Change is often necessary to ensure that your business stays in business. Sometimes, you might need to rebrand the entire line of your products, and sometimes, you might need to modify your decade-old operations process completely. When you visit an online consulting marketplace to hire the right consultant, you have to be okay with the idea of changing things. Oftentimes, business owners are hesitant about changing the way they do business. There might be several reasons behind this.

Maybe the decision-makers aren’t fully satisfied with the new processes or maybe they’re afraid that the employees might get overwhelmed because of the new changes. And sometimes, the ‘we have always operated our business this way’ belief is so rigid, that changing any aspect of the business seems impossible. Unfortunately, consultants don’t think this way. Surely, they’re considerate about their clients’ original business structure and processes. However, at the same time, consultants are more focused on ditching what’s not working and employing what’s actually producing results.

For example, if a client’s first-ever retail store is still in business but is generating the least profit as compared to other stores, the consultant might advise them to shut it down and move the whole thing online, or to a different physical location where the chances of profit are high. Initially, this might seem to be a bit difficult for the business owner as it’s a lot of hard work to shut down a store and ensure all old and trusted employees are placed in new roles within the company. However, these seemingly difficult changes might be necessary to make things better for the business.

3. They’ll Be More Efficient if the Client Offers Their Full Cooperation

It’s not uncommon for business owners to think that all they need to do is hire the right consultant and the rest will take care of itself. Unfortunately, this is hardly ever the case. In reality, a consultant and a business have to work hand in hand to reach the desired outcome—and every consultant wishes that businesses are aware of this. Sometimes, companies that hire consultants through a consulting marketplace unknowingly make the consultant’s job difficult.

Let’s quickly understand how consultants work: Firstly, they collect necessary information from the company, then they’ll analyze the whole situation, and ultimately provide and implement recommendations. Now, when the company doesn’t cooperate with the consultant throughout all these steps (due to any reason), their expertise and experience might be of no use. The whole engagement might be very frustrating for a consultant if they don’t get relevant data on time.

hire the right consultants, Get into The Mind of a Consultant

Let’s consider an example. Suppose a SaaS company hires a consultant to increase sign-ups for their new social media management software. The consultant asks them to offer a 30-day free trial of their software to five people—just to get their feedback after a month. However, the company refuses to do this as offering free trials is against their policy. Now without understanding the customers’ point of view, everybody, including the consultant, is flying blind and can only make assumptions. All this can be very annoying for the consultant, that’s why it’s important that you, as a business owner, trust them and cooperate with them.

4. They Have Likely Faced Problems Similar to Yours Before

This is kind of a continuation of the previous point. Again, it’s about trusting a consultant’s abilities. Whatever your business problem is, whether it’s the increasing churn rate or operational issues, it’s likely that a top consultant has already helped a few businesses with the same problem before.

When you hire the right consultant, they'll help you navigate your way towards the right solutions. A consultant might not tell you this, but if you have faith in their competency and encourage them, it’ll help them put their best foot forward. After all, consultants are humans too, so a little empathy goes a long way. Sometimes, office politics or ego clashes might slow down a consultant. But remember, when you’re sailing through unknown waters, an experienced sailor’s advice is exactly what you need.

That’s why it’s essential that you let the pro lead the situation—someone who has already been there multiple times. This doesn’t mean that no other team member can offer their feedback to the consultant. A consultant and the company’s staff should always work as a team. However, appreciating a consultant’s expertise and experience will give them the much-needed job satisfaction.

Conclusion

Maybe your preconceived notions about a consulting engagement have now changed and you have a better understanding of a consultant’s point of view. Remember, consultants don’t operate like most professionals. They’re agile, energetic, and professional problem solvers—if you hire the right consultant, you’ll experience this from the get-go. Next time you work with a consultant, make sure you have a quick read of this article to have a better understanding of their perspective.