|Consultants love hotel points and free food|
No, this is not about Cheers. As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, relationship quality is often the key difference in all types of business decisions – vendor selection, buyer selection, employee hiring – you name it. In consulting, that increasing competition directly impacts your ability to find a project internally. You can click here to read about the “airport test” that consultants often refer to when talking about how managers decide who to staff on their projects. That’s a decent start, but it can take a while to get to know people if good airport convo is all you have in your bag of tricks. If you really want everybody to know your name, you need to brush up on your negotiation skills, and I’ll tell you what I mean by that.
The fastest way to get your name out there on a consulting project is to broker a deal…a hotel deal, and I’ll tell you why:
- Your firm loves it because you just did some major community building. Instead of all the battling factions (Marriott, Hilton, SPG) arguing over who has the best perks, all of a sudden everyone is skipping along hand-in-hand headed to the same place after work, which makes further networking much easier to do.
- Project management loves it because you just contributed a tangible financial benefit. Think about this. If you have a team of thirty people that travel each week, you saved the project $20 (room + parking) * 30 people * 3 nights * 4 weeks = $7,200/month. That’s not too shabby if you’re a fresh face trying to get some exposure. I’d also argue that if you really wanted to, you could reduce the number of rental cars based on point number 1 above.
- Your peers love it because you hooked them up with free food, which makes that per diem go just a bit further than usual.
- Consultants love hotel points so whenever you can get double points, it’s a borderline orgasmic experience for everyone involved.
My friend @jondobz inspired this cartoon but I failed to mention the fact that he got us a free movie every week and access to the lounge and internet for everyone (usually reserved for those with platinum status). Jon is a veteran consultant but the beauty of this type of initiative is that anyone at any level can proactively do this. You might be surprised at what you can accomplish just by asking.
Anyone have a deal they made on a project or other networking idea that helped everyone to know your name?