In the modern business world, consultants have become a necessity, providing specialized knowledge, streamlining operations, and maximizing efficiency. Consultants occupy a unique place in the company’s structure, neither an outsider nor a full-fledged member of the team. Because of this, it can sometimes be easy to forget that maintaining a good client-consultant relationship can drastically improve the effectiveness and longevity of a consultant’s time with your company. Are you ready to start loving your consultant?
Treating Your Consultant as an Equal in the Boardroom, Rather Than a Vendor in the Hallway
Some consultants may be brought on for a short-term project, and in these cases, it’s quite natural to treat the consultant as a temporary hire. When you will be entering into long-term cooperation with a consultant, the situation is quite different. Not only can bringing the consultant into the boardroom improve their job performance, but it can also improve the odds of them sticking with the job for a longer period of time.
A high-level consultant may be called upon to help with many aspects of the business. Simply put, the more they understand about your company the more they can help your company. If a consultant is not privy to the workings of the boardroom, they may not have a comprehensive understanding of the company as a whole. This deep understanding of the company and its leadership can be a critical component to a consultant trying to perform their job with maximum effectiveness.
An independent opinion can sometimes help make things more clear. Everyone knows that the boardroom can be filled with various factions, sometimes working at odds with each other. People get set in their ways and can be hesitant to make changes. When multiple parties are having a hard time reaching a decision, it can be helpful for someone with a birds-eye view of the company to share their thoughts. A consultant in the boardroom can be an invaluable resource when dealing with this type of situation, even to the point of acting as a neutral moderator. Treating the consultant as just another vendor can mean you miss out on this valuable aspect of their presence in your company.
Remember, a consultant is not just a position; it’s a person. Yes, they have feelings too. Everybody wants to belong to something, and your consultant is no different. Bringing them into the inner circle shows them that you trust them, and this will also help them trust you. When the consultant is welcome in the boardroom, they feel valued. They understand that you see them as an important part of the company, and this ensures that they are invested in how the company performs. People who are invested and care about the job perform better, and giving the consultant a voice in the boardroom goes a long way towards achieving this.
What if the Consultant Can’t Participate in the Boardroom?
There could be a conflict of interest. Possibly the board has strict rules about who can be in the boardroom. Even if this is the case, a consultant that can’t enter the boardroom can still be treated as one who can. Share the boardroom minutes with them, if possible. Keep them apprised of the happenings of the boardroom, and ask for their advice on issues they may be knowledgeable about. A vendor works for themselves, but a consultant works for you. Treating them like an equal will improve trust, cooperation, and respect in your client-consultant relationship.
Are You Ready to Start Loving Your Consultant?
At Circle Management Group, we treat our clients like family. Every decision we make, every suggestion we put forward, is done with one goal in mind: to help you serve your customers better, be of greater value to your clients, grow your business, and succeed. Many small-to-medium size businesses have never experienced a relationship that is genuinely focused on their success.
Are you ready to start loving your consultant? If so, we would like to hear from you — contact us today.