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The 6 Essential Consulting Skills

Communication Skills

Consultants engage in a lot of oral and written communication with clients before, during, and after projects.

  • Asking your client meaningful questions during sales conversations
  • Presenting your analysis during a project
  • Following up and asking for a referral

Your communications skills determine how your clients view you. Whether they trust and like you, as well as whether or not they see you as a real authority and expert.

However, good oral communication skills are not enough.

You also need the ability to communicate your value through your writing skills, including your

  • Marketing and sales materials
  • Your consulting website copy
  • And blog content

If you can’t communicate the value you bring or the results you’ve created you’ll have a tough time marketing your consulting business.

Observation Skills

As a consultant, you’ll often play the role of the observer.

You’ll be focused on whatever part of your client’s organization you are engaged with. And, you must be able to notice, analyze, and provide feedback on any areas of concern or interest.

It’s difficult for your clients to assess their own business because they are so close to it. They hire you to provide an outsider’s view. You help them make more objective and informed decisions.

Problem-Solving Skills

Problem-solving is a core part of consulting.

It’s what you do for a living: applying your skills and expertise to a particular problem that your clients have and help them achieve their desired result.

Armed with a high level of skill and experience in your field, your ability to solve your client’s problems is a big part of why they hire you.

People Skills

Developing and sustaining good relationships with your client, their employees, and other key players is paramount. The success of your consulting projects depends on these relationships.

If you have good people skills, people like, trust, and respect you more. When clients like, trust, and respect you, your projects will run smoothly.

Organization & Time Management Skills

If you’re a freelance consultant, you’ll wear many hats and have many tasks to accomplish. In the early days, you are the business.

In the morning you might have a sales call. During the afternoon, you’re working on a project. Later that evening, you’re sending invoices and following up with clients.

It’s critical that you learn to manage your time well. Otherwise, you risk falling behind.

By staying organized, productive, and practicing good time management, you’ll be able to systematically and methodically complete your tasks.

Objectivity & Independence Skills

Clients need more than just your skills and experience. They need an unbiased and objective analysis of their situation. As a consultant, you are brought in as a third-party observer to provide your unbiased and objective opinions.

Don’t get too personally invested in your projects. What matters most is providing your client with the right solution to their problem. If that means telling them an uncomfortable truth, it’s your duty to tell them the truth.

Your clients are surrounded by “yes-men” and “yes-women.”

You need to be the one who can tell them “no” and given them a sound reason when appropriate.

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