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How to Make Every Consulting Project a Multiplier for Your Firm

You’ve won a consulting project. Or a cauldron full of projects. Cool-o-rama. Other than dancing the revenue tango around your office, is there anything you should be doing to make the most of your good fortune? You betcha.

The good news about a winning streak in consulting is that you’re busy. The bad news is that you’re busy. News is weird, that way.

Looming deadlines and your devotion to delighting your clients consume your consulting hours. Meanwhile, you’re still stoking the business development fires. What else could there be time for?

Easy. Even at your busiest, every consulting projects affords you the opportunity to advance all three, critical pillars of your consulting practice: Winning Engagements, Creating Value and Infrastructure.

Since you’re completely scrambling, you don’t have time to wade through a long article, so we’ll keep this super simple.

Throughout every project, continuously answer the multiplier questions for each element of the consulting model: 

Project Multiplier #1: Win Engagements

During your project(s), when are your clients saying, “Good point!” or “Aha!” or something similar?

A “Wow!” response during a consulting project signals thought leadership. Your clients are telegraphing exactly what topics, insights and turns of phrase to embed in your visibility-building activities. That’s how you win even more consulting projects.

Project Multiplier #2: Create Value

During your project(s), what data are you gathering that may be useful for other clients or prospects?

Every project yields tens, hundreds, or thousands of data points. Data that your other clients would love to learn from. (Blinded, of course.) Data and learning that enhance your output, hone your wisdom and heighten your fee premium.

Project Multiplier #3: Infrastructure

During your project(s), what process and approaches are you employing that you can document and/or improve?

The very best, most successful consulting firms know that internal thought leadership drives growth just as much as the external thought leadership that clients see. Systems and processes are the heart of scaling your profit. Winning business and creating value are great. Accomplishing them more effectively and efficiently launches your consulting firm to new performance levels.

What else do you do to make the most of the consulting projects you win?

  1. Tristram D. Coffin, CMC
    April 4, 2018 at 12:27 pm Reply

    Hi David,
    #1- Just want to say how much I appreciate your website and the blogs you send to fellow consultants. I have been re-elected to the position of President of the Colorado Chapter of the David A. Fields Fan Club!
    #2- In April I will be doing a presentation at an IMC Colorado Chapter meeting on the topic, “Everything You Want To Know About Consulting But Don’t Know Who To Ask!” I will include the suggestion that attendees look you up on the Internet.
    #3- The Colorado Chapter of IMC is in rebuild mode and if you know of any management consultants in Colorado, please send them my contact information.or provide me with info on how to contact them.
    Thank you again for all you do. Tris Coffin, CMC
    IMC Colorado Chapter President & Certification Chairman

    • David A. Fields
      April 4, 2018 at 2:06 pm Reply

      Tris, congratulations on rebuilding the Colorado chapter of the IMC– you’re doing a good turn for the consultants in the area. (I know we have quite a few readers in the greater Denver area.) Thanks in advance for the mention to your group, too. As with all consultants, my door (er, phone) is open to anyone who wants to reach out. That’s how we all learn!

  2. Hau
    April 4, 2018 at 1:32 pm Reply

    Great advice for those of us working in the trenches. I’ve always wondered how we can find more hours to improve our business while serving our clients. These 3 points are focused and actionable. Thank-you!

    • David A. Fields
      April 4, 2018 at 2:07 pm Reply

      Time is our greatest limiter… after our own imagination and ambition. After you try out the three questions for a while, let me know how they work for you, Hau. I look forward to the update!

  3. Haroon malik
    April 5, 2018 at 2:40 pm Reply

    I’ve always wondered how we can find more hours to improve our business while serving our clients.Thank-you!

    • David A. Fields
      April 5, 2018 at 4:28 pm Reply

      Creating more hours is all about efficiency, systems, delegation and “working to a 95.” It’s easy to lose sight of how you can improve each of those areas while your amidst a project. Simply being aware of the three Multiplier questions will help you improve your delivery and reduce your hours. Thanks for injecting your thoughts into the conversation, Haroon.

  4. Jim Horan
    April 11, 2018 at 7:22 pm Reply

    David – another great article with simple, practical advice! Like you, I teach our One Page Certified Consultants to listen to the WoWs… from their clients, peers, audiences. It is the simplest way to know how, where and when you have made an impact. I learned this years ago from Tom Peters in his book the Pursuit of Wows!. I agree 100%, get in the practice of repeating your Wows… they will build your practice! PS: I am strongly urging our consultants to read your blog.

    • David A. Fields
      April 12, 2018 at 10:13 am Reply

      Our clients (and prospects) tell us pretty much everything we need to know about what to offer and how to market our services. All we have to do is listen!

      As you’ve emphasized, Jim, when you create delight with one client, it’s a a clue for how to delight many clients. (That said, many consultants fall into the trap of thinking they can just deliver a slightly tweaked version of the last project to the next client — every client deserves careful, individual consideration.)

      Thanks, of course, for inviting more readers. Encourage them to comment too. We all learn from each other here.

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