The best consultants — and the ones who draw the most business — are conversationalists.
We all know people like this: They have the uncanny ability to discuss any topic.
Bringing New Insights
They always bring some new insight to the conversation and offer the potential to turn a client’s business on its head. Not only do they have exceptional knowledge in a specific field, but they are also savvy business people.
Unsurprisingly, the smartest consultants are also well-read.
They know what’s current and how it will affect their clients’ businesses. They have read the latest books and studies, and they know how to apply the knowledge that they have gained. So if your intention is to become one of the best consultants in your field, you need to become the most knowledgeable and well-read consultant.
The Need for Consultants to Know Business
A consultant’s currency is knowledge, and in a perfect world, consultants would devour information. Clients are looking for advice they can trust, so consultants need to find the most reliable information sources.
It’s important to not only read books in an area of expertise, but to read books on business in general.
Clients pay for knowledge related to their industries, but they really want to know how that knowledge is going to increase their bottom line. As a consultant, your expertise must reach past the client’s company and into the realm of business success.
Having Business Acumen
Consultants who have the added edge of business acumen are more successful. They translate their knowledge into tactics that help increase their clients’ business. When clients see the ROI, they view the consultant as a trusted advisor who helps drive the success of the company and lowers risk.
Reading is time-consuming, and time is a scarce resource. Many professionals simply don’t have the time to read enough books to acquire the multitude of perspectives they need, even when the books focus on specialized topics that increase their value to their clients.
They must turn to other resources to stay relevant and increase the likelihood of getting hired for consulting projects.
Increasing Business Acumen
So how do you stay on top of business trends? Consultants need to look for quick, compressed knowledge — specifically, book summaries.
Book summaries turn daily breaks into mini-learning moments. Business book abstracts distill the salient points from the most popular or relevant business books. These points are turned into easy-to-digest nuggets of wisdom that are accessible, enhancing your consulting services.
For instance, consultants at the global consulting firm North Highland receive weekly five-page summaries that they can read in 10 minutes.
They also access a customized reading list of summaries via an online portal tailored to the company’s needs.
The consultants use the summaries to trigger insightful conversations with clients. The CEO and other key leaders choose abstracts that have a positive impact on the business and share them with their employees.
Accessing Business Publications
A consultant’s future clientele will expect fresh, applicable, and trustworthy ideas on a continual basis. Books are a great resource. When you gather new information from the most in-depth business books, you have a host of ideas and strategies for your clients’ meetings.
Leading practitioners from top consulting firms continuously read summaries for
- “The Leadership Code” by Dave Ulrich
- “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne,
- “The Inspiring Leader” by John Zenger, Joseph Folkman, and Scott Edinger
These book summaries keep consultants well-informed and confident of their success — and their advice works for all types of businesses.
Stealing Some Secrets
Steal a secret from the playbook of the nation’s smartest consultants; instead of reading more, read smarter. It’s not about reserving time to learn, but leveraging micro-moments for mini-lessons to apply to the job.
Change the way you consume information, and digest new and popular business ideas as summaries.
Learn to leverage your expert knowledge to increase your client’s bottom line. That’s a conversation clients will always want to have.
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Image Sources: examiner.com