The secrets of winning consultants

Project execution is important. But making a sell is the most critical skill when it comes to professional advisory services providers like engineers, lawyers,

Project execution is important. But making a sell is the most critical skill when it comes to professional advisory services providers like engineers, lawyers, accountants, doctors to mention but three.

True, getting a job is not easy. And for that reason, many people would rather find a government job and chill. It is safer that way. Right? Not always so. Some folks are used to the “driver of my life” slogan that they love it in the private sector. You have to continuously put in your all – 100% daily, to progress. What a better way to live life than being challenged to be the best every single day?

Life is about making choices.

What you decide to do with your life is a personal career choice. But there is a special kind of adrenalin that comes when you are in the private sector. It is like watching a competitive footballmatch with a lot at stake for your team. During those nail-biting extra minutes of the game, when the other opposing team is pushing harder inside your penalty box, you become so anxious and impatient for the last-minute whistle. Yet, you know once the whistle goes off, it all ends with it. Life becomes boring again and you wait for the next game your team will play to revenge! Or so you think so.

Folks who work in the private sector as founders or staff, know what I am talking about. The thrill of submitting a proposal whose deadline is in two hours. The nail-biting experience of interacting with folks at board level, with lots of experience that you don’t know the next question. And above all, opening an email from a vendor you had sent a proposal. You just want top open to see if you won the bid. Suddenly you realize recently the feedback has been negative and you think of ignoring the email altogether.

In my over 16 years’ experience as a consultant, winning a competitive proposal on merit gives the best satisfaction of all. It is like a village boy heading to the airport for the very first time. The thrill when entering the plane is indescribable. You feel a sense of accomplishment.

In simple:

The business of consulting or selling services is about prospecting. Finding clients and managing the relationship thereof. And thereafter, managing the execution of the project. Take note that I have not written “executing.” All you have to master is managing the client project execution.

If you have 100 hours, you add more value to your firm by spending over 80 hours looking for the jobs, and 20 hours managing execution. That is what it means by process consulting, not content consulting.

Take an example of CNOOC. It probably has so many engineers and oil experts than your firm will ever recruit. Your secret, therefore, is in organizing those experts by providing them process expertise to collaborate better, liaise better, and have clarity of the ambition to win. If you decide to first go study oil and gas to consult for CNOOC or Total, for example, you are a foolish consultant. Great consultants know that they are in the marketing business and not a consulting business. Anyone can be a consultant. But few folks are good at building lasting relationships with folks who matter.

Are you a winning consultant or a loser? Get out of the office and go network?

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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