Are you a consultant that continuously gets redeployed and comes highly recommended? In my experience as a recruiter I have seen consultants come and go and have narrowed down some key characteristics of a great consultant.
- Effective communication – The ability to communicate effectively with clients is vital in order to create positive relationships and gain a good understanding of their needs. Having the ability to communicate effectively relies on emotional intelligence. A good consultant must be able to relate to a client on a personal level in order to build rapport and truly understand their needs.
- More than one solution to a problem – Sometimes routine creates tunnel vision. Stuff happens and things change. Successful consultants foresee multiple solutions and are open to other ways to achieve results. They are also ready to think on their feet when challenged and deliver tactful responses.
- Self-confidence – Having self-confidence means being adept at delivering bad news with direction and clear ways to deal with issues. Consultants who are sure of themselves are comfortable in any environment and attacking sensitive issues.
- Be a team player- While personal goals are important, the client’s goal must come first. Be able to adapt to surroundings and lead by example.
- A good understanding of the client needs and expectations – What works in textbooks doesn’t always work in the real world. It’s important to know what solutions have worked in the past and to have ideas about how to improve them.
- Transferable skills – Cookie-cutter approaches are weak. A great consultant is able to apply learning across different situations to come up with innovative ideas. The result should be practical new strategies that are compliant and that work for that client.
- Ability to simplify and explain a problem – A natural curiosity and interest in solving problems also aids good consultants in getting to grips with their client’s needs. A consultant needs tools to explain ideas simply, whether through a diagram or a metaphor.
- Be a good listener – A consultant should never assume and doesn’t hesitate to ask questions until they understand their clients’ needs fully.
- Gain client trust – Uncover the real issues. You have to be able to develop a strong relationship with your clients. Passion for their cause creates a bond and opens communication. Successful consultants need humility and must remember that the customer is always the star of the story.