“What does it mean to be a consultant? How should we behave?”
I was running inductions for new consultants the other day (remotely of course), and the new joiners were experienced salesforce admins, and were new to the World of Consulting.
It’s not a trade secret, I tell them.
It’s basically common sense.
Once I lay it all out, you’ll see what I mean.
I shouldn’t have to be explicit about these basic rules, and I used to assume that everyone knew them but I was wrong.
So it pays to be clear about the expectations.
First and foremost, it’s how you carry yourself. You’re the ambassador for your company, the representative of experienced knowledge.
The client is also paying a fairly high day rate for your services.o you must dress and you present well.
You’re never casually dressed at customer site, although you may drop down to smart casual with the agreement of your PM.
Hygiene and basic dress and presentation.
You ought to know your stuff.
That’s basically what they are paying for.
That means you should always look like you’re in control, when everything might be going pear-shaped.
You know the answer, or you know where and how to get the answer to the question.
You don’t really get flustered.
Sometimes you might get involved in a highly charged and emotive encounter. Stick to the facts, and direct the client to your PM.
That’s their role – to deal with escalations and emotional discussions.
A good Project Manager will manage client interactions and keep the ‘noise’ away from the team so that they can get on with their work.
But you’re expected to know your stuff.
And carry yourself accordingly.
Along with the rest of your team, you represent your company, in being the expert in your domain.
It doesn’t look good if you rock up to a meeting unwashed, smelling of yesterday’s takeaway 🍕, in your pyjama bottoms, and fluffy bunny slippers🐰.
Actually, in today’s crazy world of remote working, you probably can! 😁
Just as long as you wear a decent top and know what you’re talking about when the video cam is on!