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What is a Consultant?

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Talent.com talent.com
Answered March 01 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
A Consultant is someone who does just that: they consult. Consultants draw from their unique expertise and experience to provide a service that may not exist in-house in the case of an organization or beyond the scope of a given individual’s skill set.  

Offering consulting services can take many forms, with Consultants providing their services to individuals or organizations. In a business case, clients in need may hire you to perform a specific task, such as a rebranding or marketing overhaul, or consult long-term for things like grant writing. By hiring a Consultant, businesses can access a greater level of expertise than what is realistically sustainable for them to keep on their payroll. They can manage expenses by only using Consultant services on an as-needed basis.  

If you plan on working with individuals, there is a myriad of niche Consultant types out there, including houseplant Consultants for people looking to purchase plants that work in their spaces. Or you could help tired parents get their babies to sleep. Whatever their niche market or expertise, Consultants offer tangible solutions to problems and help their clients achieve their goals.  

Personality of a Consultant

Consultants need to be confident, have great people skills, and above all, be able to make their clients happy. 

  • Confident
Know that you have something unique to offer your clients and your services are worth the investment. If you are confident and purposeful in your message, you can make potential clients feel at ease and confident in your abilities to deliver. 

  • Realistic
Give your clients realistic expectations and benchmarks of what success will look like, considering their budgetary, time, or resource constraints. Consultants who promise a month’s worth of work in a two-day timeline risk alienating and disappointing their clients.  

  • Flexible
As a Consultant, you will need to juggle multiple deadlines, projects, and client needs. Having a flexible mindset and an adaptable workflow will be essential to your success. 

  • People Skills
Consultants need to be able to sell themselves to clients and keep them happy. Having good people skills does not mean you have to be a bubbly extrovert. Even if you’re more introverted, you can listen attentively, connect with clients, and let your work speak for itself.   

  • Listening Skills
Clients approached you to look at their obstacles because they’re stuck. You need to be able to listen to all stakeholders and offer a solution that meets all their needs, and this may not be the solution that the client is expecting.