As a client facing consultant with subject matter expertise you excel in the technical aspects of your work, but do you have the commercial and people skills needed to become a trusted advisor?

The Consulting Skills Technical Experts Need

Taking on a client-facing career requires continued education and maintained skill sets. Specifically, having consulting skills is critical. As a consultant you help your client with specialised knowledge and resources the client lacks, according to GradAustralia.

Many times, if you are an IT consultant, engineer, accountant, financial adviser or other professional who takes on the technical details of the job, you may find yourself excelling in the task related aspects of your work but needing the skills to become a trusted adviser.

When your position involves client-facing responsibilities, it’s important to be proactive and offer problem-solving solutions as best as you can. Here are some of the commercial skills that will help you become more successful as a technical consultant.

1. Sales

According to Business Queensland, your ability to build business with clients is highly reliant on your sales skills, which includes relationship-building, listening and persuasion, as well as having product knowledge and overall confidence. Understanding how to identify opportunities with your clients to add value to their organisation builds trust in the business partnership. This inspires your client to pay for valuable services without feeling forced to do so.

2. Building relationships

Speaking of building trust with clients, developing strong relationships is key in successful consulting. Creating rapport with clients and understanding how to deliver based on their wants and needs means becoming a trusted adviser. This involves constantly communicating with clarity, and creating a consultancy mindset that revolves around helping the client.

3. Influencing and negotiating

Your success is dependent on your ability to influence the decisions made by others, and your willingness to negotiate with clients without manipulating. Communicating with confidence and clarity is critical. Many technical consultants need to develop their assertive communication skills. Assertiveness and negotiation skills help to not give in to unreasonable demands and still offer flexibility to the client.

4. Problem-solving

While problem-solving is a universal skill that can be beneficial to various roles, consultants need traditional problem-solving skills to thrive and maintain a positive reputation in influencing clients. It’s always in your best interest to be proactive in identifying issues and immediately offer your client solutions.

How ICML can help you gain these skills

Maintaining these consulting skills can make you more confident in your role and help you navigate issues that occur when approaching a client. To brush up on these skills, check out ICML’s Commercial Skills for Consultants workshop.

This training program is aimed at teams of consultants who are comfortable facing technical challenges and also can use some assistance in terms of thinking in the strategic context, maintaining client relationships, presenting, influencing and negotiating client demands.

By the end of the program, participants will be better equipped to engage in consultative dialogue, conduct client meetings, communicate and present clearly and assertively and deal with difficult issues involving clients.

If your team consists of client facing technical experts, don’t hesitate to contact ICML today. We’re always here to help.

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