What is a consultant? A consultant is a person who intervenes with the companies to which he or she offers services in order to provide them with expertise, supposed to solve a particular problem. In order to fulfil this mission as well as possible, the consultant must : -Upstream, analyze the situation of the company which called upon him/her and identify the problem to be solved. It can be of several natures: employee discomfort, bad communication, underperformance... Each field corresponds to a specialization of the profession: management consultant, communication consultant, strategy consultant... -Once the diagnosis has been established, it is necessary to carry out its consulting missions and draw up a consulting action plan consisting of several specific techniques and methods, intended to solve the difficulty(s) encountered by the company. This action plan says to be in agreement with the means, including financial and/or human, which the company has and which can be mobilized by the consultant. -It is finally a question of planning and then implementing the defined plan in a company, and thus trying to bring the answers to the problems of the company. The 5 essential skills to become a consultant: 1.ACTIVE LISTENING The first role of the consultant is to meet the needs of his clients. Therefore, the first of his skills is to listen, attentive, active and fine. It is indeed by knowing how to listen, both with empathy and pragmatism, to the needs expressed by the client that the consultant can : Understand the personality of his client, which will be useful later on; Grasp the real needs, those which are not expressed but which are present in half-tone; Reformulate to validate the good comprehension of the message; Elaborate in fine the framework of intervention, signed by the client, and thus avoid disappointment and disputes. 2.CAPACITY FOR ANALYSIS AND SYNTHESIS Of course, the consultant will have to be able to analyze with precision and accuracy the whole functioning of the company, in any case within the limits of his framework of intervention. A consultant cannot, should not limit himself to ready-made solutions proposed on the basis of a superficial vision. And of course, the corollary of this capacity of analysis is the capacity of synthesis, which will make it possible to work out proposals in a clear and effective way. 3.PROJECT MANAGEMENT The consultant is not satisfied to establish a diagnosis of the customer's company: he implements his recommendations, with the different actors of the company. He must therefore have serious skills in project management to pilot the various actors, establish schedules, carry out monitoring, develop indicators, etc.. 4.THE MANAGEMENT OF PERSONALITIES More than pedagogy, which is used to make the manager accept the proposal, personality management is the key competence to be able to implement the proposal precisely. The consultant must know how to accompany the change in order to guarantee the effectiveness of the proposed measures as well as an efficient transition that wins the support of the different actors in the company. 5.TRADE The consultant is not satisfied to establish a diagnosis of the customer's company: he implements his recommendations, with the different actors of the company. He must therefore have serious skills in project management to pilot the various actors, establish schedules, carry out monitoring, develop indicators, etc.. 5.THE MANAGEMENT OF PERSONALITIES More than pedagogy, which is used to make the manager accept the proposal, personality management is the key competence to be able to implement the proposal precisely. The consultant must know how to accompany the change in order to guarantee the effectiveness of the proposed measures as well as an efficient transition that wins the support of the different actors in the company. The 5 essential attitudes of the professional consultant: 1. BE METHODICAL An excellent consultant leaves no room for ambiguity or vagueness. This translates, in particular, into the maximum detail in the estimates, specifying each step and their provisional realization. This methodology has two significant advantages: The customer is reassured as for the competences of the consultant. The absence of interpretation prevents future disputes and conflicts. We also advise you to read our article on this subject. A rigorous attitude privileging clarity and exhaustiveness contributes to increase the satisfaction of the customer. 2. BE A CARING ADVISOR An excellent consultant favours availability and tailor-made solutions to meet the wishes of the clients. In addition, a caring and constructive attitude tends to reassure customers. 3. BEING GENEROUS Generosity, in the professional world, means that an offer is totally or partially free of charge. Thus, this "generous" attitude is expressed in two different ways: -Trade discounts. Commercial gestures to important and/or regular customers remain perfectly relevant. The free use of a test version. Prospects can directly get an idea of the solution in question. -Access to expert and specialised content. This strategy is in line with the Inbound Marketing methodology to attract customers almost naturally. The importance of customer donations is a reflection of the strength of the independent consultant. This generosity offers, in addition, the opportunity to prove the consultant's expertise. 4. BEING A SKILLED TRANSMITTER A consultant can design transmission actions in order to bring concrete and professional information to clients. This pedagogical attitude favours the active participation of the client. Indeed, the latter will become more involved in the service. By having a better knowledge of the offer, the client will more easily understand its value. A consultant will be able to justify his rates and consolidate his margin rate. 5. BE HUMBLE AND ATTENTIVE The best way to remain humble and attentive to the economic environment is to opt for benchmarking. It is a matter of carefully observing the competition in order to learn from it and make up for any shortcomings. This humility must be accompanied by real authenticity, facilitating commercial prospecting. By adopting these 5 attitudes, a consultant can then set out to conquer his market.