Lots of people decide to become consultants, but only a fraction of them ever achieve success. Why? Because in most cases, these people don’t understand the ten key traits necessary for becoming a truly successful consultant.
If you’re thinking about becoming a consultant or are looking for ways to increase the success of your current consulting practice, here are the key traits you need to have if you want to achieve lasting success.
1. Business focus. You are likely pursuing a career in consulting because you have a strong passion for your field or discipline, but this passion alone is not enough. First and foremost, consulting is a business and you must approach it as treat it as such at all time.
2. Customer focus. Consultants of all kinds are out there competing for clients, so you need to set yourself apart if you want to be successful. The most successful consultants are not only experts in their field, but they also pay a great deal of attention to the needs of their customers. Customer focus and service is a critical tool for differentiating your services from others.
3. Ongoing development. No matter what field or discipline you focus on, you must always be working to improve your skills and expertise. Successful consultants devote time and energy to ongoing development so as to stay at the very cutting edge of their field.
4. Web savvy. You can’t run a successful business of any kind in today’s business environment without having a certain amount of web savvy, and consulting is no exception. You must have a web site of some sort, even if it is a very simple and basic format. If you don’t have a presence on the web you are missing out on lots of potential clients.
5. Marketing savvy. Most consultants don’t have huge marketing budgets, so if you want to succeed you need to market yourself in savvy and sophisticated ways. Try writing topical articles in your field and publishing them on various industry blogs or websites; another great way to market yourself effectively is to solicit speaking opportunities at professional conferences, workshops, and gatherings. Don’t miss out on opportunities to volunteer your services to charities and non-profits because this is a terrific way to contribute to your community while also generating positive publicity for your consulting practice.
6. Persistence. Building a successful consulting practice takes persistence, time, and energy. There is no “quick” way to establish a solid client base, but rather it takes consistent effort and persistent attention to reaching out and finding potential clients wherever they may be. disciplinary
7. Driven to succeed. In your consulting practice, you are it. You’re the principal service provider, the main marketer, the primary customer service representative, and the dedicated business manager. In short, you must wear a lot of different professional hats and to do so you must be driven to excel and driven to succeed.
8. Passionate and enthusiastic. Consulting work is indeed work, but if it is something about which you are passionate and enthusiastic then it doesn’t seem like quite as much work after all. The most successful consultants have an intense passion for their field or discipline, combined with tremendous enthusiasm and excitement for bringing their services to help their clients succeed.
9. Know what they don’t know. The very best and most successful consultants know what they don’t know; in other words, they are in tune with their own skills and abilities closely enough to be able to say “I don’t know” when it’s appropriate. To go along with this trait, though, they are also quick to research and look for information to fill in whatever knowledge gaps they may have.