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Consulting Training: How to Provide Direct Advice
 

Consulting Training: How to Provide Direct Advice

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I lead our team of online marketing consultants at Compendium. Giving direct advice in a way that the client is receptive to can be challenging for any consultant. This presentation was part of a ...

I lead our team of online marketing consultants at Compendium. Giving direct advice in a way that the client is receptive to can be challenging for any consultant. This presentation was part of a training session designed to help our team learn to give advice to clients that they need to hear, but may not want to hear.

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    Consulting Training: How to Provide Direct Advice Consulting Training: How to Provide Direct Advice Presentation Transcript

    • Consulting Training:
      How and When to Provide Direct Advice
      Frank Dale
      Vice President Operations
      Follow me @frankcdale
    • How will clients judge you as a consultant?
    • Can I trust you?
      Are you committed to excellence?
      Do you care about me?
      Do you know what you are talking about?
      Questions 1-3 from Lou Holtz
    • “When retaining a professional, what you (and your clients) want is someone who understands your interests and will not put their interests ahead of yours while working for you. You want someone you can trust to do the right thing. You want someone who will care. Getting hired (and rehired) is about earning and deserving trust.”
      from The Trusted Advisor – pg. 17
    • Integrity
      Do The Right Thing
    • Consultants fail when they:
      Fail to understand the client’s goals and perspective
      Avoid uncomfortable conversations
      Tell the client what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear
      Don’t help the client deal with internal politics
    • 2 ways to provide advice to clients
      Socratic:
      This method helps a client “discover” a recommendation through questioning. It is typically the preferred way to provide advice as the client has the opportunity to appreciate the reasoning process that led to the advice. The Socratic method involves the client in the development of the recommendation, which is a strength.
      Direct:
      In this method we directly offer our advice.
    • This presentation is about the direct method.
    • 3 conditions that must be satisfied in order to “Earn the Right to Offer Advice”
      Understanding the client’s situation
      Understanding how the client feels about it
      Convincing the client that we understand both of the
      previous two items
      from The Trusted Advisor – pg. 43
    • Consultative Questions Seek to Understand
      Business Goals
       
      What do they want to achieve?
      What is motivating the goal?
      Why is that important?
      Personal Impact:
       
      How will this affect them personally?
      Why is that important to them?
    • How to recognize when direct advice is appropriate?
      Always seek to understand the client first. If a client asks for your recommendation or thoughts, ask the client to clarify the question first.
      Do not answer until you know why the question was asked. Deal with issues not symptoms. With that said……
      If the client repeats the question verbatim…that is the question
    • Simple Rules for Providing Recommendations:
      Listen first, don’t jump to conclusions
      Demonstrate that you understand the client’s position
      Be honest
      Be direct
      Be clear
      Ask the client to provide their understanding of your advice
      Set reasonable expectations
      Set clear objectives and next steps with each other
      Follow-Through
    • Consultants succeed when they:
      Understand the client’s goals and perspective
      Address uncomfortable issues and emotional situations
      Tell the client what they need to hear instead of what they want to hear
      Help the client deal with internal politics
    • How can we “get truth on the table?”
    • If you sense tension….”name it and claim it”
      Acknowledge the difficulty of raising the issue
      Accept the responsibility for raising the issue
      State the issue itself directly
      from The Trusted Advisor – pg. 112
    • Put the thing you are afraid of in front of the advice - Charles Green
      Name it and claim it:
      I am afraid this may upset you…, but you asked me to help you and I think we need to….
      Before we continue, it sounds like you are frustrated. Can we talk about that?
      I know this makes both of us uncomfortable, but…..
    • When dealing with difficult issues always be collaborative:
      How do you think we can….
      How could we get them to join us….
      What do we need to do to….
    • 4 Steps to Give Direct Advice:
      Seek to understand first
      Demonstrate that you understand and seek confirmation
      Tell the client what they need to hear, not what they want to hear (start with “name it and claim it” and end collaboratively)
      Confirm that the client understands your advice and ask the for the client’s thoughts about your advice
    • Thank you!
      Frank Dale
      Vice President Operations
      Follow me @frankcdale