We have looked in earlier articles at an overall framework for building a successful sole practitioner consultancy practice, which included 3 key aspects of the consultancy role, the first of which was Key Challenges. Last time, we looked at the first challenge – Credibility. This time we will look at Behaviours and Attributes.
I am indebted to Alan Weiss, who explores this topic in some depth in his excellent Book “Getting Started in Consulting”.
He highlights a number of crucial attributes:
- Humour – can you use it to retain perspective and objectivity?
- Influence – can you command a room and persuade individuals?
- Confidence – can you be seen as a credible peer, as opposed to a vendor?
- Fearlessness – can you stand your ground and turn work down?
- Rapid Framing – can you summarise key issues very quickly so the prospect knows that you have listened well and understand his/her problem?
- Value Generation – can you add value very quickly so that the prospect can appreciate your potential?
- Intellect – powerful people love powerful people, so can you come over as powerful?
- Active Listening – can you live out the doctrine of “two ears, one mouth, use in that proportion”?
- Instantiation – can you work at the prospect’s “ground level”, rather than hovering at 35,000 feet?
- Responsiveness – how fast can you respond to prospect, even if just with an acknowledgement; can you make them feel special?
If you can apply most, if not all, of these attributes, then you can put the odds in your favour that the prospect sees your value and can appreciate the potential benefit of an association with you. If you would like to talk about the qualities, please contact me.