There are tons of how-to books on Amazon and thousands of websites that will outline how to run a successful consulting practice. Ok, maybe not tons, but there 1,360 books in the Kindle Store alone. The books range from starting a consulting firm, thinking like a consultant, implementing like a consultant, and executing like a consultant. You can find out how to triple your consulting income or create a million dollar consulting business. There are secrets, demons and bibles. With that many books, the authors obviously were creative in the titles chose in order to attract buyers.
Let me save you the time and money of buying even one of those books. I believe they could all be summarized by this one phrase: Win the Engagement! This statement was uttered by Josh Lindemann in a conversation about how we continue to build on our successes at Ambassador Solutions. Great line, but how do you do this?
When a client requires an expert, this type of an engagement should be fairly straight forward. The client should believe they have gotten an expert who provides more value than what the client is paying. This seems like common sense, yet I am continually amazed at how this is not the case. The important concept is “client shoud believe”. We, as consumers, only purchase products which we believe we will get more value than the cost of the product. Businesses are not any different. As a firm providing “experts”, our course should be straight forward. We should hire the best possible candidate we can for the hourly rate, and we will win the engagement. If it were that easy though, everyone would be running consulting firms. Resumes don’t always tell you enMost peoplewould view the challenge is finding the truly best person for the job.
Winning the engagement in a custom development project is far more difficult. Many projects are fixed bid, and are under estimated. Clients may think they know what they want, but they often change their mind when they actually see it. Rare are the delivered solutions that provide the client a better Return On Investment than the original. Anyone who has been in the consulting or software business for a while has participated in projects that, in hindsight, it would have been better off losing. Most of the time, the client has to listen to the whining about how much money is being spent or lost. IMO, you win the engagement by living up to your commitments, and doing so in a professional manner.
You must Win the Engagement!!!!!!!!
Thanks for coming in today.