Archives For how to become a consultant

Photo by Hannah Stelzl

Companies choose whom they do business with. Executives choose their advisers while IT has theirs.

Who will the IT person choose to do business with?  Someone they enjoy eating lunch with, someone they can control, or perhaps someone who becomes a source of sound education.  Who in your organization can meet the last demand?

How about executives?  They have more at stake.  They require unique insight, people who understand the big picture, who can look beyond their current product set and offer ways to move the business forward.  They come up with creative alternatives, build on insights they’ve gained from competitive accounts or like industry leaders.  These are the people who offer greater value than just the product feature set and who will earn the long-term trust of those they sell to.

© 2010, David Stelzl

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When the guy comes by to cut my lawn, he’s a vendor.  If he suddenly becomes an expert on soil conditions, timing of treatments, pros and cons of various products (including organic options that build the soil over time), he’s on his way to a bigger payday; he’s becoming an advisor.  A few years ago I contracted with a national lawn care company.  My lawn was a disaster.  Full of weeds, large patches of dirt, erosion on the hill beside my driveway, and generally out of control.  Now, I don’t mind telling you, I am not big on outdoor landscaping projects.  There are other things I’d rather spend my time on, and between homeschooling seven children alongside my wife and running a business, I don’t have much free time.  But for some reason, the lawn care company wasn’t making the kinds of improvements I would expect.  When I had questions, they were short on answers.

Then one day I received a call from a guy who used to work for a lawn care company, but now runs his own.  He was familiar with my lawn and recommended I take a different course.  He claimed the company I was using only uses chemicals and by continuing with my current program I would never actually improve my yard, I would just keep pouring in chemicals to make up for the bad soil conditions.   Instead, he recommended a series of treatments that would over  time, create looser soil, build nutrients back into the soil, and hold water so that the grass would have a chance to get established before the hot summer weather roles in.  Lawn care companies that act like vendors are selling seed, fertilizer, weed killer, and other soil products.  The advisor is selling me a green lawn.  Which do you sell?

© 2010, David Stelzl