How to be a good consultant?

+60 votes
asked Aug 2, 2019 in Career & Work by JamieKus9824 (270 points)
edited Aug 11, 2019
I am a post-doc in computer science, and I lately quit academia and joined a consulting firm. I am already an expert in my field of expertise. But how do I prove to everyone else that I am good enough to give consultations?

2 Answers

+14 votes
answered Aug 13, 2019 by AlyssaGoloub (500 points)
edited Aug 14, 2019
The best way to become a good consultant is to say what you mean and mean what you say. Start by building trust and credibility among the members of the community where you live. If you say you will charge certain rates, do not provide hidden fees. If you say you have special knowledge about a topic, make sure you actually have that knowledge. Another good tip is to follow through on all of your deadlines. No client wants to work with a professional who does not return their work on time.

Doing what you say and meaning what you say seem simple enough, but it is not always so. Sometimes, you take additional projects under your belt or have unexpected emergencies that pop up every now and then. You must be prepared for all of the unexpected events that life throws at you. If you are too busy to complete a project, make sure you give advance notice or hire someone else to take on the task.
commented Jun 24, 2015 by VonnieWise51 (120 points)
This is the perfect answer to how to be a good consultant. Thanks a lot!
+3 votes
answered Aug 14, 2019 by IsidraMeacha (220 points)
edited Aug 14, 2019
Pay attention to every detail of your work at all times. Good consulting means sending in work that is completely finished with few to no errors. No client wants a provider who does not follow directions properly or give accurate advice.

Not every professional is an expert at giving flawless results. It takes time to develop a natural attention to detail, and even so, there are plenty of times when professionals make errors.

If you create a set of rules for yourself, and follow each one faithfully, you will improve your work output.

One rule is to double check your work thoroughly before submitting it. If you are writing some documents, make sure you edit every word carefully. If you cannot provide certain pieces of advice, do not make up a sloppy answer on the spot. Your client will not make a referral for you if you give wrong advice. Paying attention to everything you do is an important skill as a consultant.
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