Consulting skills can help lift your career — and business — to new heights. By taking the time to review and improve your consulting skills, you can gain more control over the direction you’re headed in.
When I started in consulting, I had great technical skills. I could lay out marketing strategies, create marketing tools, manage projects and so on. But managing client relationships, sales, proposals, invoicing, contracts, my business plan and so on were totally new to me. I had the skills to succeed as a marketer, but now I needed to figure out how to run a marketing consulting company.
Fortunately, my background in marketing and my love of people gave me the foundation to get my business going. I took part in an entrepreneur program, which helped mentor me and connect me to some great people. In fact, all these years late, I still keep in touch with many of those people — some as friends, some as clients, some as both and some simply out of an interest in finding out where we are these days.
For me, learning to manage client relationships has been the most valuable part of my journey. I’ve learned to see my clients as people who love their businesses and who have a lot at stake. If they’re not buying into my vision, then that’s because I’m selling them my vision — and not working with theirs. I’ve learned my clients are the experts in their own businesses and that I’m there to guide them in their journey.
What consulting skills have been most important for you?