Clients often ask for bids on specific engagements and then complain that consultants only offer the same services as everyone else. How are we supposed to stand out when we are just responding to what we are asked?
I understand your point but you are also not being fair to clients. Just because they ask for something does not mean you are unable to propose alternative approaches or even alternative outcomes. If we just feed back what we think clients want to hear, we miss our opportunity to use our experience, education and expertise to advance the client's condition. To put it another way, if you went out of business, would anyone care? Are your consulting services so unique, however large or small your market, that they could not be provided by any other consulting firm?
Youngme Moon's new book Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd
is a reminder that providing the same consulting services as everyone else makes them commodities and makes them valued at the lowest price. Different, scarce, and unusual consulting services - that still get the job done but show some innovation and creativity - will command both attention and higher market value.Tip:
Be constantly innovating in the scope and process by which you provide consulting services. Whether it is focusing on agility, intangible capital, or other "new looks" at management, your uncommon take on your client's future can make it so that people would notice it if your consultancy disappeared.© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA