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Consulting Firms, Don’t Stop Saying This! (Even Though It’s Tempting)

You’ve told your consulting clients the keys to success, and you’ve reminded them. More than once. 

By the way, you’ve also made these core principles clear in your articles and webinars.

We’re talking about the fundamentals you communicate to virtually every one of your consulting firm’s clients. “Blame the process before you blame an employee.” “Figure out the problem before you implement a solution.” “Wipe the chocolate frosting off your face before the Zoom call.”

After covering the basics so thoroughly, do you really need to say them again?

Yeah, pretty much.

Over, and over.

Roughly the number of times you read a Dr. Seuss book to a two year old.

There’s virtually no limit to the number of times your reminders will help your consulting firm’s clients and prospects.

Repeating evergreen advice doesn’t make you look basic. It makes you consistently valuable.

Your charge is to find new ways to read Green Eggs and Ham present the basics and new ways to help your clients adopt them.

Try the following two steps:

Identify Your Evergreen Best Practices

What are ten concepts, principles and approaches you exhort every client to follow?

If your evergreen best practices don’t immediately pop into mind, jot a note every time you make a recommendation:

  • In response to a client’s question
  • During a conversation
  • As part of a deliverable
  • Inside a client presentation
  • Within your writing
  • As part of a webinar, podcast or speech

Capture those recommendations in a simple spreadsheet and after one month (have your assistant) quickly sort your list to pinpoint the ideas you’ve repeated most often.

Create Communication Variety

Develop new ways of presenting and encouraging adoption and compliance.

Below is a checklist of communication devices you can run through for each of your evergreen best practices.

Some communication devices accommodate multiple variations; e.g., metaphors, stories, and case studies. Other communication devices, such as mnemonics, become confusing if you trot out a variety of versions, and you’re better off committing to your favorite.

  • Mnemonics
  • Metaphors
  • Examples
  • Checklists
  • Routines
  • Software
  • Products
  • Humor
  • Stories
  • Graphics
  • Frameworks

You may have other ways of delivering evergreen concepts (share them in the comments, please).

Now that you’ve developed ten expressions of each of your ten concepts… you have over 100 ways to communicate your consulting firm’s evergreen best practices.

That means you can remind your clients every single week for two years about an important, fundamental success principle, without ever being completely repetitive.

In year three you can cycle back around and start over because your client will have forgotten or will appreciate the repetition anyway.

What’s an example of evergreen advice you repeatedly offer your clients?

  1. Terry
    July 29, 2020 at 6:27 am Reply

    Keep it simple! I named my strategic map the “KISS Marketing Map” (Keep It Super Simple) and it’s a great reminder for me as well.

    • David A. Fields
      July 29, 2020 at 10:33 am Reply

      Indeed, Terry. A straightforward, uncomplicated message is always best. That’s great advice for your clients. (And for us readers. Thanks for contributing!)

  2. Michael Chirveno
    July 29, 2020 at 8:51 am Reply

    “Involve your employees in defining the problem and creating the solution. If they own it, they’ll execute it.”

    • David A. Fields
      July 29, 2020 at 10:33 am Reply

      Outstanding, Michael. That’s advice worth repeating often, and I’m glad you posted it here.

  3. Tom Huberty
    July 29, 2020 at 1:10 pm Reply

    “Happy employees make for happy customers. Who knew?”

    • David A. Fields
      July 29, 2020 at 1:38 pm Reply

      Holy cow! Yeah, I can imagine clients need to be reminded of that little gem quite often, Tom. Thanks for sharing it here.

  4. Ben Hulme
    July 29, 2020 at 1:29 pm Reply

    Oh I love this!!
    One of my favourites – especially in corporate environments – is the application of “if we spend more time understanding the question, then the answer will be easy”
    1 hour meeting = 50 mins discussing the problem, 5 mins agreeing the answer, and then we can all go for a break before the next one!

    • David A. Fields
      July 29, 2020 at 1:41 pm Reply

      Hold on a second. If you understand the problem before jumping to solutions, there’s virtually nothing to argue and dig in your heels about. Where’s the fun in that?

      Outstanding advice, Ben, and I’m glad you posted it.

  5. DJ Peterson
    July 29, 2020 at 1:58 pm Reply

    Great piece David and really timely. I have a new client and I have been repeating several themes and feel a bit like DJ One Note. After several months, they came back to me last week after a big internal team meeting and said, “I know you have been taking about this from the beginning and we are finally getting to realize your point.” Very apologetic, like “please dont give up on us”….

    One way I have approached this is to bring in other expert voices to help make the point—eg from an executive coaching angle and an operational excellence angle, they address the same issue, but they use different words.

    As an aside, my husband often complains that I am predictable. I reply that I am consistent. 🙂

    • David A. Fields
      July 29, 2020 at 2:09 pm Reply

      Nice case study, DJ!

      Also, good for you for bringing in other voices to emphasize your evergreen best practices, DJ. That’s a terrific addition to the list of approaches for changing up your communication approaches.

      Finally, if you’re DJ One Note, there are plenty of us who will listen to your next album! Thanks for joining the conversation, DJ.

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