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Hi everyone,

not sure if this is the right forum to post this in, but I was wondering if there are any management consultants around here who could give me some tips?

A company approached me about consulting... We started talking about employee recognition, development, motivation, etc. and they said they would call me one of these days to arrange a meeting so I could work with them.

Hm. While I'm super excited and definitely want to do this, I'm a bit overwhelmed by the thought of this. No, maybe not overwhelmed, but anxious to do it right - the meeting with them, plus the actual work with them later.
Consulting is something I've never done before and I want to come across professional in that meeting and able to take the lead if necessary. I don't wanna sit there and just listen, in a, "what is it you want from me" kind of way. I want to be able to say "This is what I can do for you, this is how I'd ideally like to work with you, this is what I charge, etc etc..." I want them to think I know what I'm talking about :) I guess it's kind of like an interview...

The problem is - I don't know what consultants charge. How do they charge - per hour? Per day? Per half days? Including or excluding travel and accommodation? Also, I'm gonna work with middle management - I think most consultants are hired for executives (I might be wrong..), therefore I can't really compare my rates with them. Plus, the company who wants to hire me *is* a consultancy company; in IT and communication, though.

And last but not least, how can I "not" mention the fact that I only just left my last job, and am a real newbie to that? I'm a bit too honest sometimes, which might not be to my advantage :)

Any tips or resources I could refer to would be greatly appreciated! It's a big company who I could build up a relationship with and keep as a long term client. Plus they would look very good in my portfolio...

Thank you,
Anja

tomw's picture

Considering the basic level of these questions and your admission to being a "newbie", I'd recommend finding a few books on consulting (Amazon is always a great source).

Considering you're on a different continent from me, I don't want to give too much advice in case it's completely different consulting across the pond. I spend a few years consulting, but not in Europe.

jhack's picture

David Maister is the smartest guy writing about consulting.

http://davidmaister.com/

His book, "Managing the professional services firm" is the best intro to consulting, and while it's oriented towards a firm, even a solo consultant should know it.

I'd add a few things:

- Be confident.
- Charge a fair price that works for you. Hourly is typical, fixed fee per job is also common.
- Don't hide the fact that you're new to the field. Don't make a big deal of it, either. Honesty is valued most in consultants.
- Make sure they get some value from every interaction with you. They'll want to interact more.

John

aniinl's picture

Thanks guys! I'm going to check the books out.

Last night I had a dream about the meeting with the company and the guy they sent was Steve Carell from The Office... I must say I handled him pretty well and woke up way more relaxed and less nervous this morning... :)

I also noticed that actually I did already do some kind of consulting (helping people to set up their businesses) and remembered why they asked me to help them. So from that I wrote down my strenghts and my achievements and started a "what I can do for you" overview.

They must know that I haven't done this kind of consulting yet/or not very long, otherwise they would have seen it offered on my website... But now I can tell them I was doing a bit here and there but still trying to find my niche, and noticed recently that my passion actually is the middle management level in the corporate environment, where all my professional experience is. This will be the truth and nothing but the truth, so I can be all confident!

I'm sure I'll get the rest sorted out as well until the interview :)

Thank you!
Anja