There are consolidated habits that have a negative effect when doing consulting.
Lately I have been thinking about how things work during the initial contacts between a client and a consultant: the initial discussion that happens between them, before a contract is signed.
Typically the consultant does two things:
- On one hand he tends to enfatically promotes the necessity for his services to the client
- On the other hand is interest is in concluding the initial negotation in a limited time
This initial conversation is not perceived as valuable by any side, just as a cost in terms of times. The goal of the client is to evaluate the consultant, the goal of the consultant is to “sell”.
One issue is that it is typically not valued very much by the client, who does not always put the focus necessary to have an in-depth conversation.
On the other hand the consultant wants to be done with it as quickly as possible, because it is basically doing free, unappreciated work.
This is fundamentally wrong because planning is the single most important phase.
What if instead…
I think both sides should invest the focus and the energy to make the best out of it.
- should have a discussion about his priorities
- should figure out if the project is worth doing or not
- should understand if this is a project where he can provide a lot of value
- take the time to laid out the different options to the customer, instead of rushing to one he can sell
After this considerations I decided to start offering a roadmap analysis service. Someone considering doing a project related to Language Engineering can contact me so that we can sit down and look at what kind of benefits he could expect to get, at which cost, and figure out how those options align to his goals.
It is a low committment step for the client who can get a roadmap by investing 60-90 minutes and a very limited amount of money.
If you are interested you can find out more here:
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5 things to get right when building a language
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