With consultant hiring slowed at large consulting firms and even boutique firms seeing delayed starts of projects, where are the best places to look for new client engagements?
In any market, your best opportunities come by identifying a prospect's points of pain and bringing expertise to solve them. In a disruptive market like 2009, even clients with solid businesses have different concerns than in normal times. Now the concerns of employees, creditors, suppliers as well as those of management are of concern. Your ability to bring these issues into sharp relief is your ticket to a motivated buyer of consulting services.
Read the concerns of managers in the business press. Their first thoughts turn to managing risk: preserving budget, using credit sparingly, doing more with less, hiring smart, and generally hunkering down. Risk management, however, also means not taking a chance on a consultant who says they can help with those issues. You will need to do more than just promise results; you'll need to work out a clear, highly focused, short time frame approach with tangible results. No more long windup, diagnostic-focused, training-rich, casual-pace engagement plans.Tip:
Instead of shopping your traditional services in search of a need, think about breaking them up into their parts. Each service should have a clear line of sight between a specific point of pain, applying your expertise and producing a tangible result and ROI. Propose each part as a standalone service, each with specific benefits and show how these results resolve a specific pain.© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA