Anyone can call themselves a consultant regardless of the amount of skill and experience they have. They may be the recently unemployed putting themselves out there as a consultant. With minimal experience and mostly as an employee they are not ready for the demands of real consulting and not equipped to solve problems and guide clients. Others decide to embark on a consulting career for the perceived freedom and money that consulting brings.
Unfortunately this means that there are armies of under qualified and inexperienced people on the market all clamoring for attention and those lucrative consulting contracts. Eventually they will get weeded out and move on but in the meantime they flood the market.
Net result – unlimited competition and massive distraction
So how do you deal with it? Don’t be part of the mass market confusion which simply means:
- Focus on your unique value to your target market
- Be clear on how that difference serves your clients
- Position yourself as the most effective option
Focus on your unique value to your target market
If you understand and can explain the value that you offer and how it is unique you remove yourself from the mob. It is not enough to know you are unique you need to be able to explain and show your prospects why.
Being unique does not mean being the only one who can do something. There may be many ways to achieve the desired result and you may do it in a way that works for a particular client. Don’t overlook your personality. Some people want to work with consultants who are very serious while others want someone who is lighthearted and cheerful. Other still want someone with a sense of humor. That can be part of your uniqueness.
Be clear on how that difference serves you clients
Ok let’s say you are the consultant with a sense of humor. How does that better server your clients. If it makes it easy for people to like you and thus work with you in an unguarded and open fashion it can be a big plus for you. It can also make it easier to implement change with less resistance. These are differences that can have meaningful impact for the right client. So when the unskilled newbie consultant is droning on about how they developed their “business failure dissection model” and how awesome they are at it, you can talk about lowering the resistance to implementing change.
Position yourself as the most effective option
Connecting with the prospect on what is truly important to them and how you will uniquely work with them and why it serves them better, will allow you to focus on the results that they desire instead of the processes, deliverables or tools that you use. There may be many ways to the result but the way that is the best fit for the organization is more effective because it has less inertia to overcome.
You can now show how other methods and approaches will have to battle the inertia that you do not. Their way may work but now the client is thinking about how they can get what they want without it have to be a big disruption to organization.
Unlimited competition is now someone else’s problem.