Consulting basics: 10 details you need to start double checking today

With great prestige (and high bill rates) comes great scrutiny.

For management consultants, that great scrutiny comes with an absolute need for attention to detail on things you probably dismissed as not being worth a second thought in your previous life.

I’ve put together a cheat sheet of some high-impact – but easy to implement – details you should focus on in your deliverables.

If you ever worked with consultants for more than 5 minutes, you know we have two primary weapons – PowerPoint and Excel. Every slide you create or every worksheet you share is an opportunity to build or tarnish your perception with the client.

A glaring mistake can leave you in a situation where the accuracy of prior work AND future work is questioned.

You’ll notice that some of the details I list in the cheatsheet are more cosmetic i.e. using consistent font size and placement of subtitles on slides.

You might even go so far as to argue with me on how much value time spent on formatting adds.

To that, I say when you charge premium prices you have to provide a premium experience. In consulting, that often translates to you adding some pizzazz to Excel models and making gorgeous PowerPoint slides that sing harmoniously together to tell your story. And the story, of course, has to have substance. If your work looks great but lacks substance, that’s a non-starter. There’s even a saying about that, something about putting lipstick on a pig…

Here are the four details related to Excel and you can download the cheatsheet and training video to see the other six.

1. Always save Excel files with cursor in cell A1

2. Use page break preview to confirm # of pages printing

3. Freeze header rows/columns to ease review

4. Repeat rows/columns on printing to facilitate more efficient review

Want to learn more about attention to detail as a consultant?

Click here to access my free content library and download the cheatsheet and the video explaining why each item requires some special attention to detail.