Tips for Providing Consulting Services
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Following the engagement kickoff, you move into perform mode and provide the services you have promised. Naturally, the nature of what you do will vary with each engagement. The following are a few brief suggestions for carrying out successful engagements.
Keep Sight of Your Deliverables
Always bear in mind what the client retained you to do and in what time frame. Avoid getting drawn too far into side issues of the organizational, political, or personality variety. Although interesting, these side issues may cause you to lose focus on your true objective.
Look For Ways to Add Value
While staying on task, avoid becoming so focused on your immediate objective that you ignore information or ideas which could help your client resolve other business issues. This is part of continually seeking partnership opportunities and is at the heart of what it means to truly provide IT consulting.
Be Sensitive to Perception
Your interest in your customer's business and its success will do little to benefit you and your firm unless your client is aware of it. When you add value during your engagement, point it out to your client. Go out of your way to be seen without a contract in your hand.
When you come across articles which may be of interest to your client, send copies to him. Look for opportunities to show what your resources can do for the customer e.g. arrange visits to your facilities where you have capabilities which may be of interest to the client, use databases to help the client answer questions, etc.
Make Sure Partners Win
Be mindful of the interests of your business partners and subcontractors. Pay attention to their human and business needs and they will pay more attention to yours.