When you work on a presentation or a project deliverable, do you like to sketch out the full document first or polish each section in sequential order before moving on? One of these is definitely better than the other. [Read more…]
How do I gain access to the C-Suite?
Everyone either wants to be the CFO or they think they need a personal relationship with the CFO or CEO to excel as a consultant.
Luckily for most of us, that’s not entirely true. Here’s why. [Read more…]
Client retention is tricky.
If you don’t watch yourself, you current client can quickly turn into an ex. I’m not talking about major missteps like you making out in the office. Most could agree it wouldn’t be surprising if your client decided to make a change if you did that on their campus.
As it turns out, there are some lesser degrees of weird that can still send your client retention rate plummeting to its death.
You know what’s weird? [Read more…]
On time and under budget has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
In order to do that, some clear professional boundaries and expectations have to be set before agreeing to a consulting engagement. Those boundaries will act as the guiding principles if any significant changes in information come up during the course of your work.
You might be thinking your business can’t afford to turn away money because of some stupid policy.
You’d be thinking wrong. [Read more…]
Not every deadline you have to hit is going to be reasonable.
Sometimes deadlines won’t even feel possible.
Part of your job as a consultant is to make the unreasonable possible. This often entails assigning a ton of action items and dates to people who probably would prefer you faded away into oblivion.
Part of having an action item that’s worth anything is making sure you have a mutually agreed due date.
But there’s another piece of the puzzle that’s frequently overlooked – the respect for the deadline. [Read more…]
In the management consulting world, you go to a lot of meetings.
Because of all of those meetings, one of the most important things you can do coming into consulting (or any other career) is make sure you know how to take notes.
Working on consulting engagements, it’s not uncommon to have multiple meetings to prepare for the “real” meeting with the client. If you play your cards right, the meetings, at least, yield useful information.
There’s a huge problem with all of these meetings though – people have short-term memories. By the time the participants leave the meeting and get back to their desks, that discussion will have long faded from their memory.
And even worse, when you ask people about their commitments made in the meeting later, they act like you’re speaking in a language they’ve never heard before. (I suppose accountability could be considered a language, and I know there are some people out there who aren’t familiar with it.)
That is exactly why you’ll find the rich and powerful to be avid note takers.
When taking notes for yourself, you should consider adding structure for searchability using a tool like Evernote. When it comes to meeting notes, you’ll want to email those out and be sure to focus on capturing the six following pieces of information. [Read more…]
Something happened last week that got me thinking about burning bridges.
I debated whether or not to share the, but then I came across this article about superstar investor, Chris Sacca. First, let me say I found the article pinned to Sacca’s Twitter profile, so I’m assuming the info of shares is accurate.
After reading the article (it’s an interesting read), three things stuck with me about how people perceive him:
– Hero complex
– Willing to burn bridges
I took the burning bridges thing as a sign so here we are. [Read more…]
Management consulting was different back in the day.
It used to be about selling some solution you developed to a prospective client because you knew it worked.
After all, you spent countless hours developing pristine PowerPoint presentations to showcase how great a service you provide. How could you let it go to waste?!
It’s a natural response, but one that does both you and your client a disservice.
Consider the three points below next time you have the opportunity to pitch a client. [Read more…]
So you’ve made it through the three steps to becoming a management consultant, nailed the interview, and accepted the job offer.
Now your journey as a management consultant begins.
Because the truth is a lot of people who start in consulting don’t last more than a couple of years. Some of the attrition is voluntary (e.g. because of excessive travel), and some is the result of staff being coached out because it’s clear the situation isn’t going to work for either side.
For those that stick around and find success, they have a few habits in common that I’ve observed. [Read more…]