Productivity is a trait that most people yearn to have. But productivity is even more of value to independent professionals with complex work, like consultants. As a consultant, every meeting you have with a client counts because it’s time that you should be using to establish your value. When working with clients, it’s easy to lose track of your goals. Even setting goals can be a struggle initially, if you don’t have the right information required to set up a proper plan and an organized execution method. That’s why you need to constantly focus on productivity. Here are four productivity tips for consultants:
1. Set specific outcomes for all meetings/calls
Consultancies work on meetings and the work that gets done between them. Client meetings are typically time-consuming and can easily go off track. Clients are seldom aware of what they want from a meeting. That’s why it’s your responsibility as a consultant to set an agenda for every meeting and ensure that it progresses according to your plan. You can do this by preparing for meetings before. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What outcome do you desire for the meeting?
- What processes do you want to cover before the meeting culminates?
- Use a calendar and timer to plan every step. For instance, during your first meeting, you may want to establish goals, set-up first steps, and agree on services to be provided.
2. Be focused but also friendly
When consulting for a business, it’s extremely important that you stay focused. But that doesn’t mean that you get carried away by business talk and forget about niceties. People skills are extremely important when building business relationships. Do your best to build a rapport with potential clients on a personal basis but do so without losing track of your actual motives. During conversations with potential clients, always stay alert for important information pertaining to their business and challenges. Your goal is to determine their challenges and expectations.
3. Use CRMs for client management
There’s no alternative to using CRMs to maintain client relationships and boost productivity. CRMs also help in better organizing information pertaining to different clients when managing several projects simultaneously. Many consultants stay away from CRMs because they believe that maintaining CRMs takes time away from actual client interaction and progress. However, this isn’t true. CRMs, when used properly, can boost the productivity of a consultancy business. Here’s how you can avoid hiccups and boost productivity when using CRMs for your consultancy.
- Involve teammates, employees, and associates right from the beginning. By introducing them to the CRM early on in the game, you can get ahead on communication issues that may crop up at a later point.
- Choose a CRM with an easy-to-use interface. The most user-friendly the CRM, the more productive you can be using it.
- Reward associates and employees for using the CRM efficiently.
4. Set-up systems against common pitfalls
There are many common issues that you may face when running a consultancy. Liability, negligence, and under-performance claims are more common than you think. By setting up systems to counteract such issues in advance, you can save yourself from expensive and time-consuming hang-ups. First, consider getting consultant liability insurance. If a client of yours suffers damage or injury by following your advice, this insurance will cover the costs associated by such a mishap. You can also protect your company from slander, liability, and other such issues.
By enhancing your productivity, you can effectively manage more business for your consultancy. You can also deliver results to clients before time and ensure that your time is being used more efficiently.