Robert Taylor, Former Public Adjuster, Shares the Nine Characteristics of a Successful Consultant in the Digital Age
In order to be an excellent consultant in the digital age, there are many qualities that you should strive for. Being a consultant is a rewarding but sometimes difficult job, and you will need to be primed for the challenges that go along with your chosen profession.
Robert Taylor, a former public adjuster and experienced consultant from Sanger, California, shares the eight characteristics that all good consultants have in common, especially today when digital interactions are so prevalent.
Self-confidence is key when presenting an authoritative voice to clients and prospective clients. As a consultant, you will need to show that you are not uncertain when you respond to a client’s questions. You will need to learn to speak with authority. When you are discussing sensitive matters with your client, be sure that you present yourself confidently and avoid being unclear in your response.
There is nothing worse than a consultant who is arrogant or boastful warns former public adjuster turned consultant, Robert Taylor. They can often rub clients the wrong way, leading to their early dismissal. You will want to build a reputation for yourself that encompasses caring and empathy as well as being an authority in your chosen field.
Your role as a consultant is not to be the star. You want to make sure that your client has all of the tools they need to turn their business around.
3. Superior Knowledge
Especially when working in the digital field, you will need to have superior knowledge of your chosen business area. As the previous point emphasizes, do not act superior, but modestly be the best in your field.
Your client has hired you because they believe you have more expertise than internal employees. They may also have hired you because they do not have the time or resources to solve their problems. To this end, spend time burnishing your credentials and learning all you can about your field.
You will often need to receive training in digital matters before you can help your client. Becoming trained on various operating systems, hardware items, and methods of digital marketing and presentation will help you further your client’s cause.
4. Be a Team Player
As a consultant, it is your responsibility to build a collaborative relationship with your peers and clients. You will need to learn how to balance competing interests and become a fully functioning member of a team. You will need to work not only with your client but also with other consultants who may have been brought in to solve related problems.
5. Have Excellent Communications Skills
You will need to be conversant with all forms of communication, both oral and written. Being a good speaker is just as important as writing concise and clear emails and presentations. If you are a poor communicator, chances are that you will not make a good consultant.
Communication skills can always be improved, and you should not be discouraged if you need to bring your skills up-to-date.
6. Be a Good Listener
Half of a consultant’s job is listening to the client and finding out exactly what they need. You need to be a patient listener and know how to ask the right questions to produce the information you need to fix their problem. The best consultants are those that can encourage their clients to reveal the information that is keeping them from optimal levels of success.
Great consultants need to be adaptable. They need to be able to work in a wide variety of work environments, and they need to be able to get along with many different types of people. This is especially true in this digital age as some business practices have been heavily impacted by remote work stations. Some employees may be resentful of a consultant coming in to help, and they may feel worried about their jobs. It is your job to show these employees that you are not meant to replace them, but instead, to supplement their work and help make their jobs easier.
8. Be Disciplined
Excellent consultants have a high level of personal discipline. They do not procrastinate or shirk hard work, and they know how to accomplish great results in as short a period of time as possible with little friction. A great consultant is a problem solver: when your client brings you in to work on a problem, they should be able to expect that you will do so efficiently.
9. Be Trustworthy
Taken together, all of these skills lead to gaining your client’s trust. If your client feels that they cannot trust you, they will not hire you to solve their problems. If you can calm your client’s worries and show them that you are worth your consulting fee, they will be more likely to hire you.
Being a Helpful Consultant in the Digital Age
Especially when digital matters are at hand, it is imperative that you take on all of these eight characteristics. You need to be able to understand your client’s problems, figure out how to remedy them in as short a time as possible, and set up your client for future success.
Former public adjuster turned consultant, Robert Taylor believes that excellent consultants have one of the most important jobs in the business world. Work on your skills, and you will find that you garner more assignments and boost your profitability.