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How to Solve the Right Problem for Your Consulting Clients

by Olufisayo
Consulting Clients

As a Consultant, your main priority is solving problems for your clients – kind of like a superhero with a computer instead of a cape.  From the moment that you take on a new client, you’re invested in finding out about their business and the challenges that they face.  You’re then committed to solving those challenges.  The bad news is that, you’re probably doing it all wrong.

At Ultimate Banners we make it our business to understand the problems that our clients face in order to help get past them and, we’re happy to share our wisdom with our consultant chums. Customers reach out to us for wide roller banners and often we have to turn around projects with very little notice.

The Consulting Conundrum

Far too many consultants make the mistake of focussing on a client’s biggest problem and making it a priority – if you’re guilty of this, don’t worry, you’re not alone.  In reality, your client is most likely already working on this – and has been for some time; which means that your hard work and time are being misdirected.

Most businesses have a number of issues to be solved and these range in importance and urgency.  While it may seem natural to focus on a number one priority for a client, this is often a mistake.  As a consultant, what you really need to be doing is tackling the second priority.

The reason for this is that your client will have been so consumed by priority number one that he or she has dedicated very little time and effort to the next issue. This is where you get to shine.  Imagine, for example, that your client is an online clothing retailer.  Although the product is great quality and sold at a great price, it’s not selling well.

Your client may well be concentrating on the fact that the website is not up to scratch and needs to be updated in order to keep customers on the site through to the checkout stage.  However, you, as a consultant, maybe looking at the second issue – say, delays from a supplier mean that items are often out of stock and the reason customers aren’t buying is that the item that they want isn’t available.  By tackling this issue while your client focuses on the website, you can help to get those sales flooding in much more quickly.

The tier system

When taking on a new client,  part of your job is to find out what makes them tick and, where their pain points are.  Ask your client to imagine their issues or problems as a kind of pyramid with the pointy bit at the top representing the biggest pain.

As we’ve mentioned, the pointy bit will generally be such a recurring issue that your client is already working on it.  This leaves you free to look at the two or three layers directly underneath.  In many cases, you’ll find that one or two of the issues are connected – which means that you can eliminate multiple problems in one fell swoop.

Being a consultant can, at times, be a thankless job with clients expecting immediate and tangible results.  By working through smaller issues, your client will be able to see knock-on results for the larger ones.  For you, this means satisfaction at a job well done – and, of course, more of those important referrals.

This article was contributed by ben. You can visit his website here ultimatebanners.co. Ultimate Banners are the premier British printer and sign maker based in Birmingham UK.

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