I hate consultants. Alright, not ALL consultants. But A LOT of them. The ones that go around charging huge retainers only to do basically jack squat.
They charge tons of money to hand out advice which you can probably find on any business blog. Very few have an actual system which consistently gets results. So they kind of wing it, and you end up paying for them to experiment on your dime.
I heard one consultant admit as much — that when she was starting out she accepted projects way above her knowledge and experience just to learn while getting paid. That’s kind of shitty if you don’t tell the client that you are using them as a guinea pig — yet charging high fees.
So yeah, this sort of stuff really bugs me. Or the ones that are all strategy, but when it comes time to get tactical, they don’t roll up their sleeves and do some of the work. You know, to lead by example.
Let’s stop giving these guys a pass. Demand more, like that they work off an established process, rather than fly by the seat of their pants while you bankroll their next vacation.
Walk the walk
An example of how to do it right comes from the September issue of Inc. (the Inc. 500 one). Company #392 in the rankings trains law enforcement, local officials and other entities in high-risk scenarios, such as active shooters.
Rather than simply give a few pointers and conduct a couple of drills, this firm dives deep:
“We didn’t want to be the kind of company that comes in, trains a few officers for three days, and leaves. We wanted to get our hands on training your whole team – get them integrated with patrol officers, work with the paramedics and firefighters, set up a rescue task force — and then test that.”
So they talk to everybody, test things out, bring in other pros, and do even more testing under as close-to-real-world conditions as possible. That is what I call “walking the walk,” and actually doing work instead of just dishing out advice like some wizard.
I don’t ever call myself a consultant. My company is more of an OPERATOR, which I hope becomes a trend among consulting professionals.
When we engage with a client:
We talk to their current salespeople and key executives.
We test and hire better salespeople and managers.
We conduct NPS surveys on their customers.
We secret shop them.
We perform a competitive and market analysis.
We examine messaging and differentiators.
We analyze the entire revenue ecosystem.
In short, we do a ton of actual face-to-face work, and then develop a plan which we execute in collaboration with our customers to put a REVENUE MACHINE there. That is the best way to achieve repeatable, scalable and sustainable growth.
And we GUARANTEE the results or we don’t get paid.
I can explain more about how this all works on a quick call: 760.815.4464 or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
p.s. If you currently work as a consultant, and are one of the good guys, well done. Just maybe consider a change in title so you are not found guilty by association : )