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Wow! It’s Easy to Improve Every Part of Your Consulting Firm

You can boost the fortunes of your consulting firm in numerous ways. Improve your processes, adopt better techniques, dial up your leverage, incorporate dessert breaks… the list goes on and on. Amongst these, there’s one, (fairly) easy shift you could make today that will help every aspect of your consulting firm.

How cool would it be if you could elevate every aspect of your consulting firm—winning engagements, creating value, infrastructure, and strategic health—by supplying one, abundantly available ingredient?

Well, put on your smiley face, my friend, because there is such an ingredient. It’s called:

Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm enhances your strengths and mitigates your shortcomings. It makes your consulting work infinitely more enjoyable while nourishing a healthier, more lucrative consulting firm.

Winning Engagements

When you’re enthusiastic, your prospects see:

Confidence. As I’ve noted elsewhere, research shows that buyers of consulting will select a more confident consultant over a more qualified, less confident consultant.

Joy. Your firm appears to be fun to be with and work with. Everyone can use a little more joy in their lives, and clients are naturally attracted to this sweet attribute.

Interest. People like people who are interested in them. A client who senses you’re keenly interested in him, will reciprocate with a higher level of interest in you.

Creating Value

Your enthusiasm is infectious. Your consulting team as well as any staff and subcontractors are sensitive to the height of your inner fire. When your flame burns bright, they’ll all work harder and perform better.

Your zest shapes their perception of their assignments. And, it’s easier to produce high-value results when they look forward to their work than when it’s drudgery.

In addition, if your delivery involves behavior change on the part of your client, your clients are more likely to adopt the recommended changes (and experience the benefits) if you’re passionate in your presentation and support.

Infrastructure and Strategic Health

The same qualities that attract clients (confidence, joy, interest), work in your favor when you’re building your firm.

You’ll attract better talent and land personnel who otherwise might not look twice at your consulting business if you display unbridled enthusiasm for your firm, your clients and the work you do.

Your level of excitement is also a compass, indicating where you should apply your skills as a firm and your time as a consultant.

Tasks you’re not naturally enthused by (bookkeeping, tweaking presentations, cleaning chocolate residue from the keyboard) are tasks you should offload to others. Projects that are boring are projects you can limit to a Bread and Butter role or walk away from entirely.

One conundrum I haven’t addressed in this article is how to become enthusiastic if you’re not feeling that way. I’d certainly welcome your thoughts on that.

In the meantime, though, I’m excited to hear: How has enthusiasm helped your consulting practice?


14 Comments
  1. Dan Janal
    November 7, 2018 at 2:38 pm Reply

    Sorry to be off topic, but I’ve been meaning to write to let you know that your column a few weeks ago on the six pillars (Know, like and trust plus need, want, and value) was a huge eye opener! I use that to frame all my discussions with prospects. If they don’t know me, I need to build trust. If they do know me, then I need see where they are on the need, want and value side. Thank you!

    • David A. Fields
      November 7, 2018 at 5:59 pm Reply

      Off topic is fine. Excellent that the Six Pillars of Consulting Success resonated with you and even more excellent that you’e applying the concept with your business development efforts.

      Knowledge and insights are of little use unless we apply them, and you deserve props for applying your insights.

      Now I can enthusiastically use you as a case study! Thanks for providing the update, Dan.

    • Debbie
      November 8, 2018 at 10:02 am Reply

      Would welcome hearing what practical ideas you’ve used for building trust.

      • David A. Fields
        November 8, 2018 at 8:11 pm Reply

        Debbie, there are quite a few articles on the site you might want to peruse that talk about building trust. A couple are this one and this one.

  2. David Discenza
    November 7, 2018 at 2:40 pm Reply

    How to get “up” when you’re feeling “down”? I can think of a few ways, but first we need to remember that everyone has their “down” days and no one should feel guilty about that. It’s a part of the human condition.

    When you’re “down”, try exercising. Run, walk, jog, swim…whatever. Exercising releases endorphins in the brain which act in a way similar to morphine.

    Listen to music. I prefer rousing choruses from great classical works. Others will have a favorite rock song. Find yours and have it handy for those blah days.

    Get a good night’s sleep. It’s hard to be bright and shiny when you’re burning the candle at both ends.

    Eat dark chocolate. Seriously. David Fields is onto something here. I’m betting he’s working on a candy bar to sell along with his consulting services.

    • David A. Fields
      November 7, 2018 at 6:06 pm Reply

      Holy cow, how did you know we were looking into a branded chocolate bar?

      Seriously, your suggestions are excellent. There are people who are having “up” days who, nevertheless, are not enthusiastic about their work. I’d be interested in your suggestions around creating enthusiasm when you’re not digging the work.

      You’ve added tremendous value to the discussion, David. Thanks for contributing.

  3. Terry
    November 7, 2018 at 5:25 pm Reply

    Ah, just love it, David. Enthusiasm. One of the comments I hear a lot from clients is how they feel so much more confident in their ability to succeed after we’ve worked together for a bit. I practice being ENTHUSIASTIC about their aspirations and I authentically believe in their ability to make their aspirations happen. It’s contagious and genuine, and helps both of us not get lost in the weeds and stay the course. Thanks for the reminder.

    • David A. Fields
      November 7, 2018 at 6:09 pm Reply

      You feel enthusiastic about their aspirations. That’s a beautiful approach, Terry, and your clients undoubtedly respond positively to your genuine interest in them.

      Your approach also perfectly demonstrates Right-Side Up thinking in action. Outstanding.

  4. Cheryl
    November 7, 2018 at 9:28 pm Reply

    I had hoped to hear more examples of showing enthusiasm so hope you’ll elaborate on this in a future article. It’s not my nature to be overtly enthusiastic, although I genuinely am, and I know this is something I should address. I’ve started by actually telling my clients I’m looking forward to working with them and that I’m excited about the project but I’m sure there is more I can do.

    • David A. Fields
      November 8, 2018 at 7:00 am Reply

      That’s a very fair request, Cheryl. It hadn’t occurred to me to separate feeling enthusiastic from expressing enthusiasm, so thank you for suggesting that distinction.

      Personally, I try to show enthusiasm by, first and foremost, sounding enthusiastic when I’m interacting with clients. Listen to how a six year-old describes anything he’s excited about, and emulate that. (With a better vocabulary and less repetition.)

      If I’m in-person, then I try to look enthusiastic too. Alas, the six year-old doesn’t work as a good model for this. But you can start the meeting with a big smile, a powerful handshake, and an energetic statement like, “I’m glad to be here today. This is going to be fun!” Then, during your meeting, lean forward, and listen attentively to your client.

      Perhaps a future article will delve a bit more into the distinction you raised. I’m sure glad you posted it!

  5. Dr. Linne Bourget, MA MBA Ph.D.
    November 10, 2018 at 1:53 pm Reply

    Love this! Agree! Spiritually guided to pioneer appreciative leadership systems over 35 yrs. ago and it transformed me as well as getting amazing results for clients. I always bring joy, enthusiasm, confidence in my positive systems and in the clients, and doing so accelerates the work as clients respond faster and more openly.

    Who can resist being skillfully appreciated for their best? Of course this takes skill and precision as well as heart. Who knew you could do harm giving appreciation if you don’t know what you are doing? Many layers of learning over the years, as when I started there was no research.

    Dr. Linne

    • David A. Fields
      November 12, 2018 at 5:55 am Reply

      Congratulations on 35 years of bringing positivity and enthusiasm to your work, Linne. It also sounds like you’ve done quite a bit of research in the area, which is excellent. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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