The task of a good consultant should be to improve the condition in which his client is leaving , providing skills, knowledge, content, advice, experiences and many other unique factors that will provide added value to those people in a particular time point. It is important to focus well on the words: “customer”, “people” . The customer must be understood, first of all, as a human being, not only as an organization (at most we will have an organization composed of human beings).
The consultants have to do with people and should remember it a little more often in their professional relationships, often aimed only at the conclusion of a good business and not at solving the problems that plague customers.
But why does a customer contact a consultant?
The reasons could be three:
pre-existing needs : these are old needs that have never been satisfied, are traditional, can be found in many situations and are as valid today as they will be tomorrow.They can include areas such as customer relations, staff and customer retention, defining strategies such as implementing a Quality System, resolving internal conflicts, etc.
Something new to create from scratch : all customers know what they want, but few know what they need to get it. Knowing the tools of Quality in depth often offers simple and affordable solutions for everyone to solve some situations brilliantly without revolutionizing what the customer has already set and often works, even if partially.
The client needs the consultant to help him to anticipate the times and make forecasts for the future : globalization, continuous change, technological innovations, etc. should push any good consultant to predict what his future needs may be, such as – for example – the need to manage teams remotely, outsource some of his activities by choosing valid partners or think of new levels of IT security for process management interior
The real value of a consultant is given by the difference between what the client wants and what the consultant is able to prove that it really serves . For this purpose, the ” weapon ” that a professional should learn to master effectively is a simple question: ” why? ”
” We want a leadership training program. Can you design an ad hoc one? ”
” Of course, but why do you need it? ”
” Once our best men come to take on the job of process manager, their turnover rate inevitably splashes to the stars. Evidently they are not prepared for this job ”
“Yes, it’s a possibility. But the pressure from management increases, these men suddenly find themselves dealing with administrative issues … the reasons for stress and unhappiness could be many and should be investigated properly before setting a corrective action that could trigger the opposite reaction to what we want, do you agree? ”
” Well, maybe … ”
” Well, then my team and I will immediately start talking with your managers to understand the reason for their deep discontent and then we’ll see together how to proceed “.