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An Easy Way to Ensure Your Consulting Firm’s 2023 is Amazing

Heading into the new year, you probably have goals, aspirations, plans and tactics in mind for your consulting firm.

You want to win more clients, earn higher fees, work less, and, in a daring twist, say “No” to bad prospects.

The last thing you need is another complex initiative or competing goal on your plate.

So, instead, I offer an easy way you can ensure your consulting firm’s coming year is amazing.

But there’s a catch.

To read the article, you have to agree to contribute at least one idea in the comments section. Trust me, it’s easy—that’s the whole point.

If you don’t feel like playing along, no worries. Enjoy the rest of your week and I’ll see you next year.

But if you promise to contribute at least one idea, then click on the + below to expand the rest of the article.

Hooray, you’re going to contribute!

We’re going to combine a couple of ideas you already know. Like chocolate-dipped strawberries, simple ingredients paired well produce delicious, effective results.

You know rule #1 about consulting is Think Right-Side Up: consulting isn’t about YOU, it’s about THEM – your clients and prospects.

You also know that results and content matter, and the client experience matters as much or more. Clients decide to work with your consulting firm, sign follow-on engagements, and recommend you to others based on their experience of working with you.

For your consulting firm to have an fabulous year—much better than last year, improve your clients’ experience.

As a reminder/prompt, the six phases of client experience are Pursuit, Onboarding, Execution, Recovery (if needed), Wrap-up, and Post-project.

Your duty as a reader today is to contribute at least one idea in the comments section below. (Remember, you promised!)

  • At least one way your consulting firm’s client experience is exceptional (so others can adopt it); or/and,
  • At least one idea for strengthening your consulting firm’s client experience next year.

Double extra bonus points if you also incorporate the Ikea Effect–People value more highly anything they contribute to directly.

Do you have an idea for enhancing your consulting firm’s client experience by involving your clients more directly in constructing their own experience?

Upgrading your consulting firm’s client experience is easy. Implementing even one idea will help you attract more clients, win more repeat business, and receive more referrals.

That’s a solid recipe for an amazing year.

What is your idea for improving your consulting firm’s client experience?


245 Comments
  1. Alvaro Triana
    December 28, 2022 at 6:03 am Reply

    Teach at a prestigious MBA program the topic of consulting working with real companies and teams of 4 students to solve a management issue along the term of the course. Both students and companies become solid prospects for your private practice.

    • David A. Fields
      December 28, 2022 at 7:16 am Reply

      Outstanding, Alvaro. One of our clients has won millions of dollars of business from clients that first encountered the firm at a university course.

      Thanks for contributing!

      • Steve
        December 28, 2022 at 12:30 pm Reply

        Add coaching to strategy formula and implementation execution to make consulting experience more human focused

        • David A. Fields
          December 28, 2022 at 1:10 pm

          Coaching can absolutely be a very effective modality, Steve, and for a lot of consultants the coaching relationship is the heart of their client experience. While it doesn’t fit for every consultancy, you’re right that adding coaching is often a good approach to enhancing the perceived value of an engagement.

          Thanks for joining the discussion, Steve!

        • RachelK.
          January 16, 2023 at 6:45 pm

          I think I always add am element of Coaching when I have worked on a project in the past.
          David F. In your experience if adding an element of Coaching, have you included this as a paid cost to total price of a Project for your firm or only added it for perceived value add?
          I am guessing that if you provided training, you billed this as a line item?

        • David A. Fields
          January 16, 2023 at 7:10 pm

          Rachel, I’m not 100% sure I understand your question. When we provide services that create value for clients, we are paid for those services. The modality (coaching, training, assessment, analysis, etc.) doesn’t matter. We don’t provide line items for anything. For any defined outcome, we propose “bundles” that include approach and terms. Fees are part of terms. We always propose at least two alternative bundles of approach/terms.

          Apologies, if I misunderstood your question and, therefore, didn’t answer what you were asking.

  2. Natalie
    December 28, 2022 at 6:47 am Reply

    We will be spending more time tracking the client experience to better understand where we can improve. We will continue to partner with clients by methodically learning their needs.

    • David A. Fields
      December 28, 2022 at 7:17 am Reply

      Sounds like a good plan, Natalie. I’d be interested in learning more about how you are tracking the client experience.

      Partnering with your clients is always a smart move for improving their perceived value of the engagement.

      I appreciate you joining the conversation, Natalie.

  3. Prakash Raje
    December 28, 2022 at 7:00 am Reply

    We will help clients identify and define the problems correctly before engaging on a project. We will also guide them to ensure that they prioritize and focus on solving the right problems.

    • David A. Fields
      December 28, 2022 at 7:20 am Reply

      It sounds like your client experience focus is during the pursuit phase, which is extremely important. That’s where the seeds of Trust are planted.

      I’m glad you joined the conversation, Prakash!

      • Prakash Raje
        December 28, 2022 at 7:45 am Reply

        That is right. Our experience suggests that getting this step right is extremely important for successful closing of a project.

        • David A. Fields
          December 28, 2022 at 7:49 am

          Totally agree, Prakash. That’s why mastering the Context Discussion is so important. It’s the cornerstone of becoming the obvious choice.

    • Robin Goldsmith
      December 28, 2022 at 10:42 am Reply

      Thank you, Prakash, for being one of the few who recognize projects often go wrong from the start because people don’t even get the problem right.

      • David A. Fields
        December 28, 2022 at 11:04 am Reply

        Plenty of readers agree with you, Robin–as do I, of course. Most projects that fail were doomed to failure from the start. That underscores why a solid Context Discussion is so important prior to developing a proposal.

      • Prakash
        December 28, 2022 at 11:13 am Reply

        Thanks for the endorsement Robin.

  4. Steve Wunker
    December 28, 2022 at 7:11 am Reply

    Create a 3-minute video about your project, as it executes, to help the client socialize your findings and make them look like a hero. The client plays a big role in the video. And it’s a good way to get your firm’s name more known throughout the organization.

    • David A. Fields
      December 28, 2022 at 7:25 am Reply

      Great idea, Steve. Pre-pandemic, we would film short interviews with client personnel after a participatory event (e.g., workshop or training). The videos served as testimonials inside the organization and cemented the value. Your suggestion of making the client the hero is a big upgrade over what we were doing.

      I appreciate your contributing your wisdom, Steve!

    • jeannie clinkenbeard
      January 19, 2023 at 8:10 am Reply

      absolutely love this idea – thank you!

      • David A. Fields
        January 19, 2023 at 8:44 am Reply

        Good on you, Jeannie, for reading the comments and picking up tips from other consultants. This is a smart community with excellent suggestions. (And I’m sure Steve appreciates your shoutout to him.)

  5. Terry "Doc" Dockery, Ph.D.
    December 28, 2022 at 7:12 am Reply

    Eschew my love of abstract concepts and be more concrete about ROI–as they say in south Georgia, “put the hay down where the cows can get to it.”

    • David A. Fields
      December 28, 2022 at 7:29 am Reply

      I haven’t heard that expression from folks here in southwest Connecticut, Doc–must be too few cows. (Maybe all the deer at the cows?)

      Cows or no cows, concrete ROI makes clients happy. That will definitely improve their perceived value of your work.

      I’m glad you chimed in with your idea and the expression, Doc!

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