Why Do Organizations Use Consultants?

April 05, 2016

Why Do Organizations Use Consultants?

We all know the answer to this one, or think we do. But have you ever really thought about it? As consultants we are generally happy to be able to get work, carry it out and get paid without getting too deep into the reasons why we were hired in the first place. I’ve done a little research on this and here are a few reasons some of which may surprise you:

  • You supply a skill that they don’t have.
  • You supplement staff in a specific area.
  • You provide an outside perspective that is perceived not to be available from within the company.
  • You have knowledge and experience of a competitors approach.
  • It is quicker to pay a consultant than get staff in the company to do it.
  • The work is limited and it isn’t worth hiring a full or part time employee.
  • The organization knows and trusts you and likes working with you.
  • Consultants get believed by senior management whereas sometimes employees do not.
  • Budgets have to be spent by year end.
  • There’s a crisis and they need help quickly.

 

There are probably lots of other reasons. So particularly in these days of the trend for reduced manpower in organizations, there is no lack of opportunity for consultants. Equally, there is no shortage of available consultants in most fields, so the broader question becomes:

‘Why do organizations use the particular consultants that they work with?’

As with the reasons they use consultants in the first place, there are multiple answers to this question. However, in essence, I think consultant selection is based on:

  • Trust.
  • Confidence.
  • Reputation. 

 

And then there are a few other related factors which may play into it, such as:

  • Value for money.
  • Timing
  • Ability to get along with the client.

 

The key to consulting, as we all know, is putting yourself in the clients’ shoes. So if you can do that successfully, you’re in a good position to work out why the client might hire you.

For example, assume you work in a large organization and have a package of work that needs to be carried out by a certain date. It’s important that you present a good job, on time, to your boss. You need to contract it out. What do you want?

I suggest that what you really want is to be able to relax. You want to know that whoever you give it to will produce a quality product on time within a budget that you consider reasonable. You want to be kept informed along the way so that if there are any problems coming up, you understand them and know what is being done to get round them. Also, when the consultant calls or meets with you, you want to have a professional, enjoyable business relationship with them. And if by hiring the consultant, you can end up in a better place – maybe your position in the company is enhanced or they demonstrate a way to get more value out of the business for you than you originally envisaged – then even better.

Easy then, all you need to do is mentally sit in your client’s seat for a while and think what would make things better for him or her. 

As a highly experienced consultant and author of “Consulting Made Easy”, Adrian assists consultants, or would be consultants, to achieve success on their terms in their own consulting businesses.  Adrian helps consultants increase their fee rates, find more clients, have more free time and have more fun.
Contact Adrian at
adrian@adrianpartridge.com to learn more.



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