Posted by: magnussonllc | July 21, 2010

10 Ways That You Can Add Value as a Consultant

In today’s market place where so many services are viewed as a commodity, the ability to add value to our service is an absolute necessity. There is no doubt that in the absence of value-added components virtually any service can be driven down to the most bottom line – price. Let’s take a look at 10 ways that we can add value to our services no matter what role and technology you are in. Everything can have value-added.

 1. Providing expert advice. In order for you to be able to provide value as a consultant, what you need to do is to understand that you have to provide a level of advice that is significantly higher, more sophisticated and a lot more valuable than that of your competition. What this means is a higher level of sophistication, wisdom and understanding about what it is that you do.

2. Consistently high service levels. It is possible for you to differentiate yourself not only by providing a higher level of service but by being more consistent. Avoid raising the expectations  by sometimes going above and beyond if this is not something that you will do every time. Push yourself not to under deliver on expectations, making sure that you can deliver on your commitments

 3. Transition and education. As new customers and people come on stream with Microsoft you may want to provide action or transition teams to help them to be better able to utilize the products or services. By the same token, the more education they have related to those products or services the more capable they’ll be at utilizing them.

4. Dedication and passion. This works particularly well if you work on a technology or service or one that requires a lot of interaction and  support. The more we give the impression that we truly care about the clients and the clients infrastructure, the more value they will perceive that we deliver.

 5.Speed of service or delivery. One of the ways to differentiate yourself is to guarantee some sort of on time or faster delivery. It is very well known and accepted that on time delivery is a key component for customer satisfaction and perception af value.

6. Provide Assurance to Executives.  Sometimes executives needs confirmation and assurance that they are making the right decisions. They could need help to clarify industry competitive positioning – challenges and opportunities. A key task is  to explain (both current and future) advantages and risks to the proposed approach.

 7. Assist Leaders in Assessing and Managing Risks. When running IT projects one way of providing value is helping the clients assess and manage risks within and outside the projects. Over 70% of all major IT implementations fail and mitigating this is of great value to corporations. We can do this by:

  • Clarify the issues with existing processes.
  • Map out a Transition Strategy appropriate to individual style preferences.
  • Suggest creative techniques to adjust Project Plans to fit anticipated commitments and unanticipated demands.
  • Provide metrics for estimates used in Project Plans.
  • Advise on the selection of performance measurements.

8. Make Integration Easy for Staff . Getting the clients to adopt out technology and fully utilize the functionality in a productive way is another approach to adding value.

9. Add a fresh perspective. Consultants can bring a much needed fresh perspective to existing IT and management teams. This can be invaluable in restart or turnaround situations or during new ventures when the founding team can be too close to the concept to recognize where changes are necessary

10. Recommend Best Practice. Best practice is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive, or reward that is believed to be more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc. when applied to a particular condition or circumstance. To give guidelines and recommendations is a quick activity to add value. 

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