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3 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Consulting Projects

Let’s cut right to the chase: if you want to ratchet up the revenue that flows into your consulting firm and the profits that land in your pocket, you need to increase your value to clients.

The 3D model below will help you expand the value of your services, the fees you command and the margins you enjoy.

The 3D Model of Consulting Value


Depth describes your consulting firm’s ability to create more impact, or success on the one, narrow dimension most obvious to your client.

How can you increase the depth of impact on your projects? If you increase sales, can you heighten them even further? If you cut costs, can you slash more aggressively? If you boost morale, will participants in your projects skip down the halls humming merry tunes?

Increasing depth on the primary dimension of value is difficult, because clients often view results as binary—success is either achieved or not.

Plus, if there are many talented consulting firms and the perceived likelihood of success is high, more depth on the primary value dimension is a stretch.


Diffusion is the art of bringing additional dimensions of value into play.

Can you open the door to value from a diffuse set of criteria? Could your initiative in one of the prospect’s business units convey benefits to a sister group? Could operational efficiency also reduce employee attrition or increase customer retention? Could you add pizza delivery? (I’d sign up for that one.)

To utilize diffusion your prospect must recognize and truly value results on the additional dimensions you’re bringing to the fore.


Duration embodies the longevity of your results.

How can you make your results stickier, so they last longer? Can the concepts you teach be embedded in a system that lasts for years after you’ve departed the client’s site? Could you stave off the return of a problem, or ensure the client doesn’t revert to their unproductive ways?

Winning on duration requires you to think beyond the immediate win and, importantly, to extend your prospect’s vision into the long-term as well. 

Which of the 3 Ds works best for expanding the value of projects at your consulting firm?



  1. Anatoli Naoumov
    September 27, 2017 at 9:20 am Reply

    When we structure energy waste reduction projects we rely on complex approach to increase Depth, long-term monitoring to ensure Duration and provide transparent reporting of results to make them understood at higher levels (4th D: Diversity?). I see an opportunity to deliver more on Diffusion.
    thank you.

    • David A. Fields
      September 27, 2017 at 10:35 am Reply

      Good for you, Anatoli, for already pushing hard on two of the Ds. Each of the three approaches has its own challenges and I’ve found that forcing myself to consider each one as I approach a potential project stretches my thinking and, ultimately leads to a richer, more valuable, more lucrative engagement.

  2. Debbie
    September 28, 2017 at 1:29 pm Reply

    Working with the people side of the business I see an opportunity for duration in the form of sustaining results. What can be done before, during or after an engagement to reinforce the changes made.

    • David A. Fields
      September 29, 2017 at 3:12 pm Reply

      That’s absolutely right, Debbie. Making behavior changes stick for the long term is a source of enormous value on many consulting engagements. That area alone has allowed me to double the value (and revenue) of numerous projects. Thanks for underscoring the opportunity in Duration.

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