When a client is about to hire a consultant, it’s much more than a business transaction. They are investing in expertise, guidance, and most importantly, trust. With two decades of experience in the IT consulting field, I’ve had the privilege of helping clients navigate their uncertainties, goals, and value expectations. Here are the top five things your clients are likely considering when hiring you as a consultant, and how you can ensure they see tremendous value in your expertise.
1. Will This Consultant Solve My Problem?
What’s Going Through Their Mind: Clients want a specific problem solved. They are often under pressure to find someone who can offer a quick and effective solution.
How to Provide Value: Take the time to understand their problem in depth, even before you’ve secured the contract. Showcase past work that demonstrates your ability to provide real solutions, preferably with a focus on their industry or specific challenge.
2. Is the Investment Worth It?
What’s Going Through Their Mind: Hiring a consultant is an investment, and like any investment, it comes with risks. They’re wondering whether the value you bring will outweigh the cost.
How to Provide Value: Make your value proposition clear. Break down how your services will translate into ROI for them. Will you be saving them time? Improving their processes? Increasing revenue? Make it tangible.
3. How Reliable Is This Consultant?
What’s Going Through Their Mind: They’re taking a gamble on you. Can you be counted on to deliver what you say you will, when you say you will?
How to Provide Value: Underpromise and overdeliver. Always meet deadlines and be transparent in your communication. If they know you’re reliable, that will go a long way in building trust.
4. How Well Do They Understand My Business?
What’s Going Through Their Mind: Clients want a consultant who understands not just the industry, but their particular business and its nuances.
How to Provide Value: Do your homework. Learn their jargon, understand their pain points, and get to know their competitors. This level of detail will set you apart from the competition and give your client confidence that you really ‘get’ them.
5. Will This Relationship Be Mutually Beneficial?
What’s Going Through Their Mind: They want a partner, not just a vendor. Someone who is committed to growing with them.
How to Provide Value: Actively listen to your clients and adapt your services to meet their evolving needs. Keep them informed about other services you offer that could further benefit them down the road.
The consulting landscape is competitive, but by understanding what’s going through a client’s mind when they’re looking to hire, you can tailor your approach to meet and exceed their expectations. Your aim should be to transition from being seen as an expense to an investment that offers a compelling return. And as you grow in your IT consulting career, always remember—consulting is a relationship game. Build trust, offer value, and the rest will follow.
Do you have thoughts on this? I’d love to hear from IT professionals who are considering making the leap into consulting or are looking to grow their existing practice.