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Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of The Society for the Advancement of Consulting, LLC - Issue #11: August, 2004

Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of the Society for Advancement of Consulting, LLC
  • Here's an attractive client: making money, access to the decision maker, history of using outside consultants, pride in being innovative. You can do a lot worse than to use this as a qualifying list.
  • I know links are popular, but I never link to any other site from my web site. I want it to be a "final destination" and not a way station. People are free to link to mine, but I don't reciprocate.
  • You don't have to ask a buyer precisely what a project will save or produce in profit (in order to arrive at a value-based fee). You can ask about impact on customers, employees, vendors, and the media, for example; or about how the organization's image, regard, repute, and public perceptions will change.
  • Quite a few airports now have first class "bypass" lines at security, but you often have to ask where they are because they aren't marked or obvious. They can save quite a bit of time.
  •  Look upon an initial meeting with a buyer as:
    1. Engaging: Setting the agenda and accommodating personal styles.
    2. Framing: Understanding the issues and gaining acceptance and trust.
    3. Disengaging: Obtaining conceptual agreement and all data for the proposal.
  • Two-thirds of the way through a successful project you should already have referrals, references, and a discussion commencing on additional business.
  • When a client makes an unreasonable demand, ask how he or she would respond to a similar request from a customer. If they say, "I'd give in," then ask how they would expect to remain in business if all their customers began to make the same demand.
  • There is no reason in the world for your client to expect you to use discounted, 21-day advance, or Saturday-stay air fares. In our business, schedules can change right up to the last minute, wasting those fares or causing expensive re-issues.
  • Carry a plastic shoehorn in your pocket to put yourself back together quickly after clearing airport security.
  • The biographies of great historical figures I find to be much more useful in my work than the autobiographies of business executives, no matter how successful they were.
  • Suggested Reading: Never make a grammar or punctuation mistake again. Get the delightfully written The Grammar Bible by Michael Strumpf (Owl Books: 2004).
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