Consultant’s Handbook Summary

BookSummaryClub Blog Consultant’s Handbook Summary

The lowdown: The Consultant’s Handbook shows you how to maximize your skills, knowledge and experience to better serve clients.

Once reserved for the multi-million dollar cooperation, in this age of the digital nomad and freelancing, there is a larger need than ever for consultants.

You have probably thought about consulting one day yourself later down the track.

Even if you aren’t looking for a pivot into consulting, there is always something that you can learn from consultants in regards to best serving clients.

After all, that is basically a consultant’s job…

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The Consultant's Handbook: A Practical Guide to Delivering High-value and Differentiated Services in a Competitive Marketplace
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The Consultant’s Handbook: A Practical Guide to Delivering High-value and Differentiated Services in a Competitive Marketplace
  • Hardcover Book
  • Parikh, Samir (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages – 07/20/2015 (Publication Date) – Wiley (Publisher)

The three main takeaways for all entrepreneurs form The Consultant’s Handbook are:

  1. Always work with your clients’ best interest at heart
  2. The elemts of a perfect proposal
  3. 50% of your attention goes to results, 50% goes to your client’s experience

Lesson One: Always work with your clients’ best interest at heart

When dealing with a client, no matter what the industry, you should look to make long-term gains.

Sometimes ensuring long-term wins may require the short-term wins to be somewhat subdued.

If you’re in a situation with a client and there is an opportunity to make short-term wins, it can be hard to turn down. However, as a consultant, the client isn’t wanting a short-term payday, they’re wanting to benefit for years to come.

Sacrificing long term success for a instant win will only make sure that your clients lose trust in you and questions your intent.

While this may be different in your field, it is always good to think of your client’s best long-term interests.

Having your clients’ best interests at heart also includes speaking up when you think they’re making a mistake.

If you’re confident of your viewpoint and have experience to back up your opinion, then you must offer constructive criticism of their actions.

Although, it is important to have humility at times like this, because there is no guarantee that:

  • Your client will actually take on your advice
  • That you know more than your client… after all, odds are they know more about your industry than you do

Regardless, if you handle the conversaion in the right way, it won’t matter if you’re wrong… the client will know that you are trying all you can to help.

Lesson Two: The elements of a perfect proposal

There is nothing that is more nerve-wracking for new consultants than writing a proposal. Knowing exactly what to include can be confusing.

In fact, consultants with proposals are kinda like family’s and their old sauce recipes:

  • They all have one
  • They’re all somewhat similar, but they’re all very different
  • Every family has the best one…ask them

The best bet though is to keep everything straight-forward. You want to leave as little room for confusion as possible.

You want to talk about what your goals are, and how you’re going to achieve them.

In your proposal, include the following.

  • Executive Summary: A short (one to two paragraph) summary outlining the entire proposal.
  • Introduction: Outline the structure of the proposal, along with the problem that the client is facing.
  • Body: The problems you’re going to solve, how you’re going to solve them, timelines, prices, and the benefits to your client (including dollar value).

By sticking to this simple structure, you can make sure you offer something that is direct and easy to understand. You will also avoid any miscommunications down the line that are a result of a poorly written proposal.

Lesson Three: 50% of your attention goes to results, 50% goes to your client’s experience

By ensuring you spend half of your attention to the client experience, you ensure steady growth of your business.

While getting results will get you some referrals and reviews, it is the relationships you build along the way which really get things done.

Making sure that you have the correct systems and tools in place to achieve results for your client will give you the time to focus on the customer’s experience.

With the added relationships you will get an increase of referrals, which are vital in business.

Think about it, if a client refers someone else to you, their lifetime value to your business ultimately doubles.

For example. if you offer a $10,000 service and a client brings a friend on board, that original client not only paid you $10,000, but they brought another $10,000 in the door.

That is also a client that you didn’t have to advertise for, or spend hours on sales calls with.

A referral engine is key to harnessing growth and to do that you need to stand out from everyone else.

My Personal Takeaway

There are definitely times where my proposals have been lacking, or, there hasn’t been the follow through in ensuring that the correct terms are agreed upon.

I will look to structure a set proposal template that is simple and easy to create.

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Put it into action

Brainstorm all of the ways in which you could improve your customer’s experience. Maybe look more into having their long-term interests at heart. Perhaps you need to make courtesy calls to clients. Hell, maybe you want to take some out for coffee just to say hello.

Regardless, there is always something we can do to make out clients the center of what we do.

You should consider buying this book if…

Obviously, this book is great for consultants. However, I would also suggest this book to anybody who works with clients a lot.

Or, read our other business book summaries.

Let me know how you intend on using this book to help your business.

Vince

Hey, I’m Erik… a Swedish university student, marketing professional, and life-long learner. Here at BookSummaryClub I summarize my favorite non-fiction books into easily digested posts. Hope you like what you’re reading!

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