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AsAs a consultant, you have the unique opportunity to be exposed to a wide variety of experiences. You work with various businesses, and individuals and develop an extraordinary ability to apply previous learnings to current problems. You’re really quite the rockstar. But, are you offering the one service that every consultant should offer to his, or her clients? Don’t fall into the number one consultancy mistake, and make sure you’re staying ahead of the competition. That being said, the one thing you should offer to every client is a diagnostic assessment.

The first service every consultant should offer

A diagnostic assessment can go by many names. It is also known as a strategic assessment, business evaluation, or gap analysis. Basically, this means that you conduct an analysis of the business and its needs. From there, you propose a plan of action, which you will help to implement. Many consultants fall victim to an easy mistake: they offer this gap analysis free of charge. These novice consultants are relying on the idea that the business will recognize their act of goodwill, and go on to hire them for the project. However, this is often not the case, and many consultants find themselves spending weeks of worth for no return on investment.

Consultants offer strategic assessments for various parts of a client’s operation including project management, HR, recruiting, sales, supply chain management, and marketing. After completing the diagnostic assessment, consultants usually go on to propose a short-term improvement plan to help their client organize their approach to solving their problems.

Short term improvement plans

After providing the diagnostic assessment, the client will most likely ask you to summarize the questions you’d ask, the processes you’d observe, the data you’d measure, and the goals you would aim towards in your consultancy. It’s important to note that many clients won’t want to jump right into a long-term relationship. It’s better to tailor your pitch towards a short term improvement plan, and then after analyzing the success of the short term improvement, plan, go on to offer a more long term approach.

In many cases, organizations simply want to put the consultant to a trial run to see if the consultant’s work style, and personality can mix well with the business. It’s important to communicate effectively with various departments, and provide insights as you move along. Be sure to display yourself as someone there to help everyone meet their goals, and improve; rather than someone who is there to find mistakes, and point blame.

Perks of Consultancy

Pro consultants have a keen skill for sizing up new situations quickly. Skilled consultants are often analytical, which comes in handy for their diagnostic assessments, but also possesses highly honed creative skills that help them to rapidly solve the complex problems that are often thrown their way. However, don’t forget that clients are paying for your expertise, and insight. Therefore, keep your projects highly customized for each individual client, and use checklists, and templates only when deemed appropriate. The client will really appreciate that you notice their organization’s quirks, and that you customize your approach just for them. This will make them even more eager to continue working with you on a more long-term improvement plan.

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